This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project
to make the world's books discoverable online.
It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover.
Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the
publisher to a library and finally to you.
Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.
We also ask that you:
+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for
personal, non-commercial purposes.
+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.
+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.
+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe.
About Google Book Search
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web
at |http: //books .google .com/I
133 07479146 2
• 1 knew CapUiin would come,' bi
f - ■ r. . ■ : : f
Polly Pat's Parish
Griselda Marshall McCluie
New York Chicago Toronto
I j Fleming H. Revell Company
London and Edinburgh
Copyright, 1907, by
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY
New York : 158 Fifth Avenue
Chicago : 80 Wabash Avenue
Toronto : 25 Richmond St.,W.
London : 21 Paternoster Square
Edinburgh : 100 Princes Street
• - 11
A FmsT Caui . . .
The Rectobt Is Fubnished
Blundebs and Benefit ,..
An Infant Mutint . . *
Two Fights and Two''
FiGHTEBS . . . . .
The Feice of a Man .
FAEWEIili OE FaCTOEY EnD?
Two Men and the Ministee
Two Fathees ....
Eastee in Foeeestdals .
List of Illustrations
"'I knew Captain would come,'
breathed Polly Pat." (Seepage we) title
"Come into tlie parlour please, I-I-
I'm the lady of the house." . . 16
" When all were assembled, he with-
" * Ziah t Where are you going ? '
whispered Armette loudly." . , 78
8 List of Illustrations
"While she talked, the Four-in-hand
passed about the pictures of In-
" For him, Paul I Wake up Tim I " . 112
"Jumped upon his lap and knelt
"The Bishop meets *the Children of
Polly Pat's Parish
A FIRST CALL
A FTER three days of rain and
/% raw September wind, the
/ % afternoon sun shone out
^^ "^^below a black bar of cloud
westward over the hills that encircle
Forrestdale. For three days Miss
Alison Farwell had delayed an impor-
tant call, and now at last she set out,
picking her way along the muddy
footpath that led from her beautiful
old Hedgerows down into the paved
streets of Forrestdale. She did not
use a carriage, although she had three.
It was one of Miss Alison's whims
never to use a carriage except in call-
ing on other carriages, so to speak.
If those she visited were pedestrians,
* - w
J ■» •*
lo Polly Pat's Parish
so was she. For this idiosyncrasy
her cousins, the Job Farwells, laughed
at her. There was nothing Alison
Farwell minded so little as being
laughed at. This was one reason why
she was the most influential woman
Miss Alison was trimly tailored
and dainty from head to foot. The
light carriage of her slim figure, the
girlish pink in her cheeks counter-
acted the years that declared them-
selves in the keenness of brown eyes,
the faint powdering of grey in the
soft chestnut waves swept back from
her temples, in the quizzical amuse-
ment lurking about her lips. Miss
Alison picked her steps gingerly,
hating mud as one might who was
bom of generations of Forrestdale
aristocrats. On the ridge of the
sharp little hill that brings one down
into Forrestdale she paused, looking
out over the old town, no longer the
Forrestdale of her girlhood. Spread-
A First Cal l n
ing out to her right, away from the
streets of grave old houses and
stately maple avenues, stretched the
ugly red brick of the Farwell facto-
ries. Their smoke hung between her
and the old white tower of the court
Radiating in irregular fashion
from the factories ran lines of ugly
squat cottages where lived the fac-
tory people. From these cottages
vague rumours of discontent and agi-
tation were carried even as far as
peaceful Hedgerows. Like all old
Forrestdale, Miss Alison resented
the invasion of the factories with
their smoke and noise and bustle, yet
it was the Farwells themselves who
had introduced them, who owned
them, old Job Farwell and his son
Charles. Since the Farwells owned
the rest of the town as well, and al-
lowed no competitors, they had things
quite their own way in Factory End.
Still there were those who muttered
12 Polly Pat's Parish
that the real autocrat of Factory
End was a certain brawny engineer,
one John Noble, better known, from
certain pugilistic tendencies, as Jack
Miss AHson's gaze wandered on to
where above the trees the shining
spire of Calvary Church shot sky-
ward. The ivy-grown grey walls
were invisible, but Miss Alison had
always loved this glimpse of the stee-
ple. Here was the church where for
generations all the Farwells arid most
of the rest of Forrestdale had wor-
shipped. Here it was that old Dr.
Trilling had done service for so many
years, and, at last, but two months
ago, been carried very gently across
to the rectory, fallen suddenly into
the last long sleep.
Now a new and very different
rector had entered into Dr. Truling's
place. The vestry had been alive
to the new needs of Forrestdale and
of Calvary Church, and to this end
A First Cal l 13
had searched and found an active
city missionary. In confidential con-
clave the vestry had decided that the
business of the new rector would be
to unite the alien elements in his con-
gregation, old Forrestdale and Fac-
tory End, the rich and the poor, but
in this effort the vestry themselves
had little intention of assisting. The
new minister had preached his first
sermon the Sunday before. He was
not one who could stay fastened to a
manuscript or to a pulpit whUe he
preached. He strode up and down
the chancel step as the quick words
came pouring. He sent his congre-
gation home with souls a-tingle, yet
for a few of them the impression that
remained was not that of the face
afire with energy, but the pathos of
that same face in repose, mark of a
" Yes, we need to be waked up in
Forrestdale," thought Miss Alison,
setting forward now at a brisk pace
14 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish
along South Street. " Forrestdale is
dull. I am dull myself."
Miss Alison mounted the rectory
steps and looked over the fair pro-
portions of the grey stone building
with that pride which all Calvary
parish felt in possessing the finest
rectory in the diocese. And how
would the new minister furnish it?
she wondered ; it had been an interior
exquisite as that of Hedgerows itself
in the days of Dr. .Truling and his
sweet old sister.
The door opened upon Keziah
Smithwick, of all women! The next
instant Miss Alison smiled at her own
start of surprise, for the doors of
newcomers in Forrestdale always did
open upon Keziah Smithwick. There
were few servants to be had in all the
town, and Keziah was one. Upon
any new arrival Keziah descended
from the fastnesses of a farm in the
hills and was welcomed with open and
imsuspecting arms. For two weeks
A First Cal l 15
she did the work of a dozen, and anon
departed silently as a thief in the
Now Keziah's little grey eyes
gleamed maliciously under her tight-
drawn black brows, her mouth set
grimly, for Keziah hated Miss Ali-
son Farwell because once Miss Ali-
son, the suffering mistress being her
own sister, had told Keziah what she
thought of her, and besides Miss Ali-
son's skirts rustled. Incidentally, be
it remembered, the two women be-
longed to the same parish. There
was a half minute's pause before
Miss Alison's " Good-afternoon,
Keziah. May I see Mrs. Everitt?"
Ironic laughter overspread Ke-
ziah'sface. "Mrs. Everitt I Well, I
swum! There ain't no Mrs. Everitt 1
Dead this long while, and worse luck
for the raft of young ones she left
for other folks to look after. Hear
'em now 1 "
" Raft of young ones," indeed, or
1 6 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh
a herd of buffalo stampeding through
the iincarpeted upper rooms. Then
suddenly, as if some fine ear had de-
tected voices below, utter quiet, fol-
lowed by a buzz of whispers. The
visitor surmised eyes peering through
the balustrade above, as she hesitated
on the threshold. Keziah, hand on
knob, was uninviting,
"Well, dunno as there's anybody
for you to call on here," she said.
" 'Ziahl " rang out a sharp young
voice from above, " I guess I'm here
to call on!" arid down the stairs in
hot haste some one clattered and tum-
bled. Miss Alison saw an overgrown
girl in an outgrown dress, tumbled
red braids flying, clear pink colour
that came and went under a mass of
freckles, eager lips, eager grey eyes.
"Come into the parlour, please,"
she panted. " I — I — I'm the lady of
the house. I'm Polly Put."
Miss Alison did as she was directed.
"Will you sit down — on some-
" Come into the parlour, please, J
the house "
A First Cal l 17
thing? " pursued her hostess, for the
parlour contained three wooden
boxes, a tack hammer, and a very
dirty white cotton rabbit.
Humour pulled at the comers of
Miss Alison's mouth, but it was im-
possible to smile in the face of this
towsled young person swinging her
heels on a packing box, and regarding
Miss Alison in such dead earnest-
"Your name?*' asked Miss Ali-
son. " I'm not sure I caught it."
"Polly Pat, from Mary Martha.
Cap always called me that."
"And Cap is ?" queried
" Oh, I forget you don't know us,"
said Polly Pat, laughing delight-
fully. " You're the first person that's
called except neighbours at the back
door. Captain is father. You
wouldn't know who the Four-in-hand
are either, would you? "
1 8 Polly Pat's Parish
" They're the others. There's Paul,
he's twelve, and Dunder and Blitzen,
the twins, ten years old — Eangsley
and Maurice are their real names — •
then Annette, the last, she's seven.
We call them the Four-in-hand be-
cause they're so hard to manage, and
because they do everything together,
except fighting. Paul does that for
the whole lot of us. Paul's perfectly
dreadful," she concluded, smiling
"And may I ask how old you
" Sixteen. Sixteen U grown up,
don't you truly think so? Captain
and I had a big argument about it be-
fore we moved here. I said it was,
and Cap said it wasn't, but I could
try for myself and find out if I
wanted to, because anything was bet-
ter than any more housekeepers."
Her visitor was reheved that Polly
Pat did not wait to hear her opinion,
but went on. " It was rather sud-
A First Call 19
den, my deciding to be grown up.
It was all for Cap. We've had sucK
a time with housekeepers. WeVe
answered the advertisements in the
church papers. YouVe read them,
haven't you? They sound so nice.
Cap and all of us would read them
together, and then we'd pick out the
one that sounded the most mother-y,
but when they came they weren't
mother-y a bit. After we got rid of
the Crayfish-the twins finished her
— I saw how distracted Cap was get-
ting, and I just decided I'd do it my-
self, attend to things, I mean, the
house and the children and the parish.
Have you met our Captain?" she
" Not yet, but I hope to soon," her
There came over Polly Pat's face
a look rapt and wonderful, transfig-
uring its childishness.
"I want to help Cap so!" she
said, "more than I want anything
20 Polly Pat's Parish
in the world. I want to help him in
the parish. He cares so much ahout
it. Don't you suppose I can, if I try
dreadfully hard? "
The click of a latchkey saved Miss
" There he is now," said Polly Pal,
and there he was in the doorway — a
tall man of light, athletic build, in his
first forties, with brown, boyish face
clean shaven, a suspicion of tenseness
about the eyes and temples, contra-
dicted by the flashing friendliness
and sweetness of his smile of wel-
come. Polly Pat slipped a hand into
his, and turned to her visitor with
shining face. " This is Captain," she
He shook hands in a hearty, boy-
ish way, and sat down on the third
"I am afraid you are not very
comfortably seated. Miss Farwell; it
is Miss Farwell, is it not? " he said.
" I had forgotten all about my
A First Call 21
seat," answered Alison Farwell. " It
is I who ought to apologise for in-
truding on you before you are settled,
before your furniture has even ar-
" Oh, it isn't going to arrive ! " cried
Polly Pat; "we haven't any. We
gave it all away."
Miss Alison's face looked her be-
wilderment. No words came to her
" We didn't keep anything but the
bedding arid Cap's desk and chair,
and, of course, the books. We're
sitting on the books now. When we
got here, and 'Ziah came, she would
have some pots and pans, and a bed
to sleep on. Cap let her buy them.
She wouldn't hear of my buying
them," this last in an injured tone.
"But you will surely need some
furniture," exclaimed Miss Alison.
" So it seemed to me," said the min-
ister, looking at his visitor with
22 Polly Pat's Parish
" No," said Polly Pat, with con-
viction, "I don't think so. Fumi-
\ ture has always been one of the chief
troubles. Those housekeeper ladies
were always fussing about the way
we treated it. It's always getting
broken or wearing out. I believe we
can just as well get along without it
unta the children are grown up. It
wiU make housekeeping so much
easier for me."
" It would not make housekeeping
easier for me," said Miss Alison,
" and I have kept house a good many
ji years. Miss Everitt."
Polly Pat's face went rosy red
with conflicting feelings.
' "No one ever called me that be-
fore," she said; "it sounds nice. I
like it — ^no, I don't either. I think
I'd rather you called me Polly Pat,
Miss Farwell," suddenly leaning for-
ward and laying an impulsive hand
in Miss Alison's soft gloved one.
Miss Alison was not an impulsive
A First Call 23
woman. Few people made sudden
advances to her. Now she felt her
two hands closing over the hard little
fist, as she looked into the fathomless
grey depths of Polly Pat's eyes. The
minister's voice made Miss Alison
turn sharply as he looked at her over
Polly Pat's head, a smile, half quiz-
zical, half pathetic, on his lips.
" It isn't always very easy work,"
he said, " this bringing ourselves up.
We shall need help sometimes, per-
haps, Miss Farwell."
Both fun and tenderness were in
Miss Alison's eyes as they met his.
In that look Miss Alison and the
minister had acknowledged that they
shared between them a problem to be
solved. Little did the third one of
the group guess that the problem's
name was Polly Pat.
" Your Forrestdale is very beauti-
ful," the minister went on; "I am
sure we are going to be very happy
here. It was hard to leave Randolph,
24 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish
but I wanted the children to have a
sight of hills and trees, and to
have cleaner air to breathe than was
to be had in the city. It's time they
knew the feel of the grass. Have
you seen the others? " he asked.
"No; may I?" Miss Alison re-
He went to the door arid uttered a
ringing yodel, which met with an
instant response. Miss Alison saw
one, two, three, four little bodies
shoot down the balustrade and bounce
from the newel post to the fldor light
as rubber balls. The Four-in-hand
filed in, none too tidy, and marched
up to shake hands, all pretematurally
snent; first Paul, red-haired, grey-
eyed like Polly Pat, his square bull-
dog face flashing into a surprisingly
pleasant smile as he put out his hand ;
then the twins, round-faced, cherubic,
Dunder, the brown one, ever equable,
matter-of-fact, and Blitzen, blue-
eyed and blond, also equable and
A First Call 25
matter-of-fact, except when music
shook him with an emotion he could
not master; last little Annette, with
her father's brown hair, her father's
brown eyes, and her own sweet tooth-
less smile. She looked appealing
and kissable as a baby ; in fact no lit-
tle sister was ever a more daring and
resolute follower of elder brothers in
all their maddest escapades. Little
Annette when she came to Miss Ali-
son lifted an expectant, dirty little
face framed in towsled curls, and
Miss Alison in all her daintiness put
her two hands about the little face
and kissed it.
As one man, the Four-in-hand
squatted down on the floor in a half
circle about Miss Alison, and sat
there looking up at her with bright,
unwinking eyes, silent and wise as
The rector and Miss Alison now
had the conversation to themselves.
It was all about the parish, of various
26 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh
people and circumstances needing to
be explained to a new rector, of Old
Forrestdale and of the diflSculties to
be encountered in Factory End. To
all that Miss Alison had to say the
rector listened with keen, quick un-
derstanding. To all this, Polly Pat
listened, too, chin in hand, her face
all alive and eager.
But the conversation was a little
dull for the Four-in-hand. Fifteen
minutes of silence and inaction for
them was unprecedented. There
came a pause in the talk, interrupted
by Paul with the abrupt inqmry:
"Miss Farwell, can you do this? "
At the words, down went his head,
up went his heels. Thus inverted, he
held himself rigid without the quiver
of a muscle as he progressed, hand
over hand, toward the door. He was
instantly followed by Blitzen, with
his " Miss Farwell, can you do this? "
as he proceeded by a series of rapid
back somersaults to the door and free-
A First Call ^^
dom. A third "Miss Farwell, can
you do this?" and Diinder, trans-
formed into a human cartwheel,
swiftly vanished from view. " Miss
Farwell, can you do this? " piped An-
nette. She drew her knees up to her
chin, clasped her hands about them,
and followed after her brothers by
means of leapings into the air incred-
ibly high, as if she'd been an India
rubber hoptoad. The whole action
was distinguished by the lightning-
like rapidity that always character-
ised both the movements and pur-
poses of all the Everitts.
The rector and Polly Pat turned
upon their visitor faces of consterna-
tion, and then all three broke into
laughter that rang through the house
and reached 'Ziah, sourly concocting
a stew in the kitchen, and was echoed
with irresistible shrill merriment from
the Four-in-hand, rejoicing in their
escape. Their amusement was still
heard in intermittent explosions as
28 Pol ly Paf s Pa rish
Miss Alison took her leave. THe
minister's arm slipped about Polly
Pat as the two stood in the doorway
facing Miss Alison as they said good-
bye. The picture of the two remained
long in Miss Alison's memory, both
so eager to help, both needing help so
" You will come soon again, won't
you?" pleaded Polly Pat, squeezing
Miss Alison's hand. " There are so
many things we need to know, and
we do so want to do our best for For-
"I hope Forrestdale will be pa-
tient with us," said the minister.
THE BECTOEY IS FURNISHED
IN the fortnight succeeding Miss
Alison's call, Polly Pat re-
turned it three times. On the
first occasion she went with her
father, and wore a hlack suit she had
bought just before leaving the city.
She hadn't had time to wait for alter-
ations, so that the coat had little ref-
erence to her figure, but the skirt
touched proudly all around. She
carried a card-case without any cards ;
they had been ordered for the new
parish, but they hadn't yet arrived.
She wore a matronly little hat, and
her bronze braids were tucked up so
clumsily that she scattered hairpins
wherever she went.
The second time she had come she
had on her oldest (and shortest)
skirt, and her hair flew out on the
3© Polly Pat's Parish
wind as she came running up «ie hiU.
She had held on to her dignity in the
town streets, but reaching the hill be-
yond, she had taken to a swifter pace,
and arrived purple with the exercise
and with the .rage due to a hot en-
counter with 'Ziah.
The third time Polly Pat came
slowly up the hill, bearing a great
bundle in one hand and trailing little
Annette by the other. Polly Pat
herself was pale with worry and a
whole morning of vain effort. " An-
nette needs new aprons," she said to
Miss Alison without preliminary.
" I don't believe I cut them right, and
it takes so long to backstitch the
seams, and she'll come out if I don't.
Will you please teach me to sew on
"But, my dear, you haven't any
" I thought I could sew on yours,"
answered Polly Pat, opening her
tired eyes very wide.
The Rectory Is Furnished 3^
This being adopted so quickly,
herself and her possessions, by a
strange person of sixteen was a novel
experience to Miss Alison. Yet if
the natural impatience of a capable
woman sometimes made her voice a
little sharp as she directed Polly Pat's
blundering fingers through the sew-
ing lesson. Miss Alison forgot the
sacrifice of a whole afternoon, when
Polly Pat at parting clasped her arms
about her neck and kissed her impet-
Yet in three visits Polly Pat had
caught no hint of what was chiefly
occupying Miss Alison's time and
thought during that fortnight, and
what was stirring dull Old Forrest-
dale to an activity such as it had not
enjoyed for many a year. From
house to house on stately old Elm
Street Miss Alison's carriage went
bustling, and there was no one who
was not ready to help her. Of all
this the rectory knew nothing, and
32 Polly Pat's Parish
still less did it or Old Forrestdale
know of the excited energy manifest-
ing itself in Factory End as 'Ziah
Smithwick, shawl over head, chatted
by kitchen fires of an evening, and
developed proud plans.
It was the bright mid-morning of
an early October Saturday. There
proceeded from the bathroom sounds
of great racket. Whenever the twins
did not know what else to do with
themselves, they took a bath. Except
for the sweep of muddy river on the
outskirts of Randolph, and a single
wonderful day by the ocean, their ac-
quaintance with water was confined
to the bath tub. However, the bath
tub and imagination were enough for
them; in thought they ventured the
boundless deep, meanwhile lustily
trilling aquatic hynms, as they
splashed and rubbed and pummelled
each other. Now two sweet soprano
voices, Dunder's soulless, Blitzen's
heart-piercing, floated out—
The Rect ory Is Furn ished 33
** Pull for the shore^ sailor (splash)^
Pull for the shore (splash)^
Heed not the rolling wave (splash)^
But bend to the oar (splash)."
Harkl What was that? They
broke off singing, they clasped each
other's necks in mock alarm, all
a-quiver with curiosity. The front
bell was ringing furiously, there was
a thundering at the back door, the
study knocker just below them was
tap-tap-tapping impatiently. Whisk!
They were out of the tub, into their
bath robes, out of the door, and
stretching their sleek wet heads far
out over the upper balustrade. A trail
of wet footprints across the polished
floor marked their path. Polly Pat
had flown to the front door; 'Ziah
was at the back.
"Wait here," cried Blitzen to
Dunder; "I'll 'tend to the study."
He flew back to the bathroom,
cUmbed up on the window siU,
slammed down the upper sash, and>
34 Polly Pat's Parish
flapping from it like a duster in the
wind, shouted down, " Gto right in.
He's gone away. It isn't locked.
There isn't anybody left to go to the
door. What's that? A 'frigerator?
Take it in then, take it right into the
study. Who's coming in the front
door, Dimder? " he shouted back over
" A bureau," shouted Dunder, " a
big black bureau. Goodness! it's
coming right upstairs, and I hear
something else tumbling up the back
stairs. Come here! Come here,
quick! '* the last word rising to an im-
possible shrillness, as Dunder danced
up and down on his bare wet feet.
The black bureau was assisted in
its ascent by two liveried black foot-
men, and followed by the round,
flushed face, and the stout black-silk-
clad form of Mrs. Job Farwell, who
fanned herself with apoplectic energy
as she panted after. In the upper
hall just across from the staircase was
The Rectory Is Furnished 35
a door leading down, and something
else was most certainly bmnping its
way up the back stairway. Just as
the bureau touched the level, the door
was thrown open and a table ap-
peared to be cast forth from invisible
space. The bureau was of old ma-
hogany ; the table had a red plush top
festooned with ravelled rope, held in
place by gilt tacks, and it stood
shakily on legs composed of gilded
spools. From the dusk of the stair-
way emerged the little worn, wizened
face, the wiry, bent little body of
Mrs. John Noble, Jack Smasher's
wife, Keziah's sister. Mrs. Farwell
came forth from behind her bureau
— she had turned alarmingly red.
"But — ^but — ^but " she said.
" Good-morning, ma'am," said
Mrs. Noble, mild and polite ; she had
none of 'Ziah's aggressiveness, she
had more than her determination.
"But we are furnishing the rec-
tory," said Mrs. Farwell at last.
36 P olly Pat's Pa rish
" So are we/' said Mrs. Noble.
Behind Mrs. Farwell on the front
stairs and Mrs. Noble on the back,
there formed an excited line, neither
procession understanding at first
what was barring its progress. Ten
o'clock of the day on which the rector
was known to be absent at the Cler-
icus had been the time appointed by
the committee of Old Forrestdale,
and by that of Factory End for
stocking that empty rectory by way
of surprise for the rector on his
return. Both sides had arrived
promptly. In front of the house the
street clattered with vehicles. From
private carriages and express wag-
gons were descending chairs, tables,
beds, rolls of carpet, and stacking
themselves on the lawn and piazzas.
A very much homelier collection
was pouring in at the back door,
cots, dishes, pots and kettles, all
that was portable by hand, all that
could be spared from houses less gen-
The Rectory Is Furnished 37
erously stocked than those of Old
Forrestdale. Now in their busy plan-
ning for this invasion, this unprece-
dented parochial activity, all For-
restdale had discovered that they
loved their new rector, this man with
the boyish eyes, the boyish handshake,
and the man's sympathy. Dr. Tru-
ling had lived a quiet, scholarly life,
remote from his people, opening the
rectory sometimes to dispense a gen-
tle, stately hospitality. Neither Old
Forrestdale nor Factory End was
used to a rector who needed them.
The pewf ul of motherless little Ever-
itts had strangely stirred people's
It was a genuine outpouring
of affection that brought about the
invasion of the rectory on this Satur-
day morning. Because both parties
of the parish now stood there with
their gifts in their hands, they re-
sented all the more hotly this inter-
ference each with the other. Excite-
38 Pol ly Pat^s Pa rish
ment quivered .all along the line as
the state of affairs was communi-
cated. Excitement buzzed in talk as
little knots of people gathered in
corners front and back, strident
whispers guarded so that the parlour
might not be heard by the kitchen,
the kitchen by the parlour.
Old Peter Newman, Forrestdale's
chief carpenter and jobber, mum-
bled away incoherently on the back
steps into the ear of his stout daugh-
ter-in-law, who had left her Sat-
urday baking, and come in crisp
blue calico, her sleeves rolled up, to
lend her hearty arm to the rectory
furnishing. 'Ziah went from one to
the other of her friends, cheeks and
eyes aflame, viewing the opposing
faction with glances meant to slay,
and slamming every available door.
In the study Mrs. Easton, a small,
sharp little woman, whose tongue
was a whiplash, poured forth a nerv-
ous flow of indignation into the ear
The Rec tory Is Furn ished 39
of Mrs. Charles Farwell, a stately
young woman, whose very air of
lofty indifference was an affront to
Factory End. The rectory vibrated
Meanwhile the five motherless lit-
tle Everitts, for whose comfort and
convenience so much of this prepara-
tion had been made, found themselves
unceremoniously shoved into corners,
whence they viewed the invaders with
wondering and inquisitive eyes.
None more alert than they to the fact
that a crisis was enacting in their own
hallway before their very faces.
Polly Pat alone understood the full
nature of the situation ; it was not for
nothing that she was her father's con-
fidante. Mrs. Farwell with her bu-
reau and her footmen, Mrs. Noble
with her table, still held possession
of the upper hall, both bent in the
same direction, the sunny southern
room which was the rector's bedroom.
It was a time for action, but whose?
40 Polly Pat's Parish
The rector was at the Clericus. Miss
Alison Farwell was on her way, but
at the other end of the town.
Up the front staircase, wriggling
her way past Mrs. Farwell, past the
black footmen and the black bureau,
came Polly Pat, red braids very
mussy, her Saturday morning shirt-
waist out at elbows. Her eyes and
cheeks were bright with resolution.
Her voice rang out so that all heard.
" It's very kind of you, of course,"
she said; "all this furniture is very
kind of you. I'm sure father would
want me to thank you. But we really
don't want it, you know." An ap-
pealing little smile flashed across the
irritating determination of her face
and voice. "You see, since I'm
housekeeper and don't know very
much about it, it makes it easier for
me without furniture. I'm pretty
busy anyway with just the house —
and the parish."
,The parish, as represented by the
The Rectory Is Furnished 41
score of church members there gath-
ered, stared open-mouthed. Polly
Pat smUed again, but into unsympa-
thetic faces. " Won't you please take
it away? " she asked.
"My child," cried Mrs. Easton,
fiery temper in her tones, " you don't
know what you're saying nor to
whom you're speaking!"
" No more she does," cried 'Ziah,
who had pushed her way in and who
now unexpectedly jomed forces with
the enemy, both united against this
audacious young person, their rector's
daughter, " Who ever heard of any-
body's hving without furniture?"
stormed 'Ziah at Polly Pat. " Much
you know about living or housekeep-
ing! Go along and be a heathen if
you want to, but let us make your
father and the children comfortable
the best we can. Miss Kiiow-it-all 1 I
declare," 'Ziah looked aroimd for
sympathy, and found it, too, from
rich and poor alike, " it seems though
42 Polly Pat's Parish
sometimes I could wash my hands of
the whole lot of them, she's that
set and unreasonable!" And 'Ziah
stooped and caught up Annette, who
was clinging to her skirts, her lips
quivering. "Go get dressed, for
goodness' sake, boys," she admon-
ished the twins sharply.
"My dear," said Mrs. Farwell,
panting, but finding voice at last,
and addressing Polly Pat, " I think it
would be better if you allowed older
people to do what they think best for
your father and for all of you. It
really is not the place of a young
girl to refuse kindness that is of-
A square little figure came out of
the obscurity of a half -shut closet
door. It advanced with knotted fists.
Grey eyes scowled beneath a red mop
"You stop scolding Polly Patl'*
"Paul!" cried Polly Pat, the
The Rectory Is Furnished 43
anger that shook her ebbing from her
in an instant at this new alann.
"You can't— j«^^t— Mrs. FarweUl"
She held his arm in an iron grasp.
Her gust of anger had left her pale
and helpless under attack. She real-
ised that everyihing was going
wrong, but she didn't know what to
do. And Captain — ^what would he
say, or think of all this? There came
over her face that visionary intens-
ity which always — ^poor Polly Pat I —
preceded the saying of the wrong
thing. Her lips trembled a little : " I
thought it would be better for us not
to have any furniture than — for you
all — ^not to be friends." She looked
from Mrs. Farwell's constituency
to Mrs. Noble's. Both factions
"Who's talking about not being
friends?" snapped 'Ziah.
" I trust, Miss Everitt," said Mrs.
Farwell, "that your father's parish-
ioners are all friends."
44 Polly Pat's Parish
" Then what is it all ahout? " ques-
tioned Polly Pat, with eyes of fath-
omless wonder. " I thought you were
all awfully mad at each other."
Then at last, at last, came Miss
Alison. The news of the confusion
at the rectory had reached her as she
stepped from her carriage to the curb,
but the trouble in Polly Pat's face,
the exasperation on the other faces,
was not so clear. However, she knew
Polly Pat's genius for blunders.
" Dearie," she said briskly, " won't
you run down and see that Gilmore
takes the basket out of the back of
the carriage safely? "
Then she turned to the others. *^ I
am sure," she said, " that Mr. Ever-
itt will be very glad to know that all
his parish have wanted to make n^s
home comfortable ; but wouldn't it
easier for us aU if we should dmdp
the house, some of us take seme
rooms, some others?"
The faces of Miss Alison's friends
The Rectory Is Furnished 45
looked relieved; the faces of the
others acquiescent. 'Ziah was sullen.
" Which rooms do we have? " she
A quarter of a minute Miss Alison
hesitated. There was one room old
Forrestdale had planned to make
most comfortable for a man who
seemed hardly to know what it meant
to be thoroughly comfortable. For
this room every article was selected,
stood ready. But when Miss Alison
spoke she said:
" You take the southern front
room, Mr. Everitt's room."
A light of pleasure came into Mrs.
Noble's tired eyes. 'Ziah was molli-
fied, almost gracious, as she said,
" You take the parlours then. You
can make them look better than we
" But — ^why — ^Alison ? " ex-
postulated Mrs. Farwell.
" Because he'd rather have them do
it," whispered Miss Alison.
46 Pol ly Pat^s Pa rish
iffow indeed the rectory buzzed
with activity. It was a day that
Polly Pat long remembered for the
acuteness of her discomfort. Assm*-
edly the rectory was her own home,
and she had a right to unmolested
existence therein, but to-day she
seemed to be in everybody's way, yet
there seemed no littlest nook to which
she might retire. No remotest attic
closet was safe from the intrusion of
that insistent parish. Did Polly Pat,
shyly and with reddening cheeks,
offer the assistance of her awkward
hands to any of Mrs. Farwell's
groups of workers, she was court-
eously but coldly repulsed. As for
her father's hmnbler parishioners,
wherever they were, 'Ziah was, and
between 'Ziah and Polly Pat there
was fierce feud. The other Everitts
might stand about, frank lookers-on,
not unwelcome, and meeting fre-
quently with hurried but kind atten-
tion. But for this Polly Pat was too
The Rectory Is Furnished 47
old. It is unfortunate to be too
young to be reasoned with like a
grown-up, and too old to be forgiven
for your mistakes like a child. All
the time in the depths of her wistful,
worried little soul, Polly Pat was
conscious that she was not doing what
Cap would have wished.
It was in the early afternoon that
Miss Alison found her beside the
new flour barrel in the pantry. It
went through Miss Alison with a
sharpness to which she was unaccus-
tomed to see Polly Pat's ruddy face
so pinched with trouble. The others,
those others who were not used to
seeing Miss Alison demonstrative,
were safely on the other side of
closed doors. When Polly Pat
looked like this, Alison Farwell was
conscious of an overwhehning desu-e
to keep her always a little girl, al-
though she knew that it was her duty
to help her to be a woman as soon as
possible. Now she gathered the woe-
48 Pol ly Pat^s Par ish
begone figure to her in a great hug,
" It's all right now, dearie," she said
between kisses, "you needn't worry
a bit. Listen to what I want you to
do this minute. Gilmore is at the
door with the carriage. Run out and
jump in, and tell him to drive you
over CardiflF Hill. It's beautiful
there. Run along with you, girlie."
While PoUy Pat was away, Miss
Alison did a little talking, only a
word or two here and there, the right
word in the right ear, but enoug^i to
make Old Forrestdale remember the
next morning, when it saw Polly Pat
enter the church, tall, broad-should-
ered, her hair done high and the ma-
tronly hat atop, the black skirts
sweeping the floor — ^that she was only
a little girl.
When Polly Pat came back from
her drive, her eyes dancing with the
glory of autumn colours. Miss Ali-
son was waiting, all ready to drive
home. The children, as they fell
The Rectory Is Furnished 49
upon their big sister at the door, told
her that pretty nearly everybody was
gone, that pretty soon they could talk
out loud again. "Mrs. Farwell's
here still," said Blitzen, " and Judge
Farwell's here, too, upstairs. He
came to take her home."
" Jack Smasher's here, too, out in
the kitchen. He let me feel his mus-
cle," Paul went on with the news.
" And 'Ziah stood out in the din-
ing-room," Dunder took up the ac-
count, " and they all said good-bye to
her when they went away."
Verily it seemed as if the sun on
that October Saturday would not go
down on wrath, but deeper strife may
shake a town than that of parish fac-
At last the click of the father's
key. Polly Pat flew for her imme-
morial right of first kiss. The Four-
in-hand swarmed down upon him.
Rapidly and lucidly Polly Pat
poured forth the day's events.
so Pol ly Pat's Pa rish
" Cap, Cap, we're furnished 1 They
came and furnished us while you
were away I See the parlour and the
hall. And we had an awful time for
a while, until Miss Alison came. But
they all went away all right. Only
some of them are here still, in comers
The rector looked ahout him and
understood a little of what his eldest
"You like it, don't you?" said
Polly Pat, intent on his face.
" It's a little more like home, don't
you think, Polly Pat?" he assented
Then he gently put aside his en-
tangling offspring and proceeded
upstairs to his room for the supper-
time tidying up. On the threshold
he paused. Dusk was deepening the
shadows, but daylight was still clear.
It seemed that the conunittee was ex-
hibiting its day's work to the hus-
bands who had dropped in at the end
The Rectory Is Furnished 5^
of the afternoon. Yet there was no
pride in the gesture with which Mrs.
Farwell was pointing out object
after object in the rector's room to
her husband, old Job Farwell, with
the shock of white hair, the square
jaw, the sharp, deep-set eyes. Mrs.
Farwell's gesture meant disgust.
" Why did you let them? " asked
"Alison I" answered Mrs. Far-
In at the other door came little Mrs.
Noble, her weary face aglow with
pride. She tugged after her the
doughty Jack Smasher, her husband,
who tiptoed awkwardly in her wake.
"Ain't it lovely, Jack?" she said.
In half a second it had happened.
It was not often that Job Farwell
and John Noble met face to face,
and when they did they were pre-
pared and held themselves in leash.
Now the flash of unexpected recog-
nition found them off their guard.
52 Pol ly Pat's Par ish
Red hate leaped to their eyes as they
faced each other, and then they re-
membered, for in the mirror they had
both seen a third man standing in the
doorway. John Noble slmik back,
stealing away downstairs. What
right had he in that home, anyway?
Judge Farwell advanced with out-
stretched hand to the minister. Both
men hoped he had not seen, for both
knew that a man with eyes and lips
like his would never understand hate.
But the rector had seen.
BLUNDERS AND BENEFIT
THE Sunday morning sun-
shine of late November fell
through stained glass win-
dows on the rector's ear-
nest face turned toward his people.
He stood at the edge of the chancel
step giving out the notices.
" The Ladies' Guild of this par-
ish/' he read, " will meet on Wednes-
day next, at half -past three, at the
rectory." He smoothed out the
paper with a quick movement of
strong, nervous hands. He always
had to remember to curb his words
against the yearning of his heart
when he appealed directly to this
people he had come to love, though
not yet, as he knew, fully to under-
" I have been somewhat troubled,"
54 Polly Pat's Parish
he said, " as I have read the reports
of recent years, to see how few the
meetings of this guild have been and
how scant the attendance. Can we
not, at this first meeting of this new
winter, try to swell the numbers, and,
may I add, the enthusiasm of all
members? I wish that all, all the
women of this parish might be pres-
ent at the rectory on next Wednes-
In the rectory pew Polly Pat
watched her father's face with eyes
that kindled to his earnestness, for
was she not one of the women of her
On Wednesday afternoon they
came, came fifty strong, yet all after-
noon the rector at each ring at the
door watched for his Factory End,
but it did not come. It never had
attended the meetings of the Ladies*
Guild and it didn't know how to be-
gin. Old Forrestdale bustled in and
buzzed about and packed itself into
Blunders and Benefit 55
the parlour and library with an air of
possession such as in former days it
had never felt. Since they had fur-
nished it, the rectory belonged to
them, and so did the rector, and so
did the rector's children.
Little Annette had claimed the
privaege of opening the door. AU
afternoon she never budged from her
station behind the high portal, and
she met each arrival with <a smile,
speechless, toothless, sweet. She re-
ceived petting in plenty and she was
still small enough for guerdon of
lollypbps. After the guests were all
stowed away within, the boys stole
down from above and claimed a share
of the little sister's booty.
At the library door the rector and
Polly Pat welcomed each newcomer.
The Ladies' Guild had taken for
granted that the rector would stay
with them during this first meeting,
but the rector thought wiser not to do
so. When all were assembled, he
S6 Pol ly Pat^s Pari sh
withdrew, after a brief but pertinent
address. But, departing, he left be-
hind him Polly Pat. The rector was
so used to treating PoUy Pat as a
woman that he sometimes forgot that
other people might feel differently.
The Ladies' Guild felt that PoUy
Pat, her duties as hostess done, might
very properly retire. The Ladies*
Guild was a very grown-up society;
most of it had husbands and children,
many of it were grandmothers. It
didn't know what to do with Polly
Mrs. Farwell, the president, now
came forward, as usual a little
flushed and breathing quickly and
heavily. Mrs. Easton, the secretary,
took her seat close by, a pad on her
knee for the keeping of the minutes.
The Ladies' Guild had its spasms of
parliamentary order. The president
borrowed the secretary's pencil and,
after long and perturbed tapping on
the table with the same, at last re-
" When all were assembled, he withdrew "
r« . ■
1 *■ t ^
Blunders and Benefit 57
duced the chatter in the two rooms to
a mere rustling akin to silence.
" It is necessary at this first meet-
ing of the year," Mrs. Farwell said,
" that we should once again consider
plans of work for the winter to come,
and also decide the time and number
of meetings. I should propose that
we open our meeting with some dis-
cussion of these two subjects."
"Madam President," Mrs. Phil-
lips drew her long languid length to
a standing posture as she spoke, " I
move that our meetings take place
once in two months as heretofore."
" Oh, my goodness, that's not often
enough 1" exploded someone over by
the library door. The rooms were
silent now, silent and stifiF. Polly
Pat jumped to her feet. "Mrs. —
Mr. — ^Madam President, it isn't
often enough, really and truly. Why,
what can we ever get done if we
don't meet oftener than that? Be-
sides, it gives people a chance to go
58 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh
to sleep in between times. Why, we'd
forget all about what happened at
the last meeting, and that's just what
was the trouble before, that's just
what father said you — ^we needed —
I mean enthusiasm."
She paused breathless, while
through the back of her chair stole
the gentle, gloved hand of dear old
Mrs. Priestman, and plucked at
Polly Pat's skirt, intimating that it
were well for her to sit down. As
she did so, the two parlours broke into
tumultuous discussion, only nobody
heard anybody's view but her own,
nobody, that is, but Polly Pat, who
through the excited talk around her
caught enough to make her feel much
as she had done on that eventful day
of the furnishing. She sat with the
same queer lonesomeness pressing
down upon her spirits, while QMiss
Alison, quite helpless, sat the width
of two great rooms away from her.
At length the society became aware
Blunders and Benefit 59
that its president, her face empur-
pled, was heating the table for order,
and that if she didn't get it, the result
might be apoplexy.
" Ladies,'* she panted at last, " the
motion before the house is that we
meet once in two months. Is the mo-
tion seconded? "
It was not for fully a moment,
then Mrs. Priestman, who could
never resist rescuing any motion thus
pitifully hung in air unsupported,
quavered, " I second the motion."
"Is there any discussion?"
Evidently not a whisper.
"Are you ready for the vote?"
Those in favour please say aye."
Aye," responded Mrs. Phillips,
transfixed, and not she alone, by be-
ing the only afikmative.
"Noes?" said the president.
"No!" thundered the Ladies'
Guild, gazing about at itself in
amazement as it did so.
6o Pol ly Pat^s Pari sh
Mrs. Priestman now rustled gently
to her feet. "Madam President, I
move that the Ladies* Guild meet
every two weeks."
" I second the motion," cried Polly
Pat, her voice blithe with joy. The
motion was carried triumphantly,
against a faint murmur of negatives.
Polly Pat turned about in her chair
and beamed upon the whole society,
and then her face grew troubled, for
the society did not beam back at Polly
Pat and she didn't know why. That
curious chilliness in the atmosphere
kept her quiet for a while ; for a time
she only half heard the discussion of
plans for the winter's work.
The Ladies' Guild, for all its grow-
ing affection for Mr. Everitt, was
conservative, and energy had never
been its besetting virtue. What was
this they were talking about, sewing
for the Nortons and the Ellises, two
families of notoriously shiftless Fac-
tory Enders, always conveniently
Blunders and Benefit 6i
ready for the services of the Ladies'
Guild? Was this all? Was this prom-
ising first meeting coming to a thus
tame and impotent conclusion? Across
Polly Pat's imagination flamed the
thought of Captain's disappoint-
ment, destroying her brief shyness.
Her eyes full of their visionary fire
she sprang up. " Oh, this isn't all,
is it? All that we're going to do?
Just Factory End, just Forrestdale?
No other work? And besides, I
shouldn't think Factory End people
ever would come to the meetings if
we sew for them. They won't want
to come and sew for themselves, will
they? I shouldn't think they would.
And father does so want them to
come and be part of things.
" Then aren't there going to be any
missions? Missions are so excit-
ing and father just loves missions.
Alaska, for instance. We had a man
come and talk to us last year about
Alaska, and it was perfectly splen-
62 Polly Pat's Parish
did. Or Indians— Indians are so in-
teresting. I don't think it's any fun
just to work for Forrestdale, for our-
selveSrf It seems to me it's sort of
selfish. Don't you think it's sort of
selfish, Mrs. — ^Madam — ^President? "
It is a rule of human nature that
when people are hit home, they are
very likely to hit back, at least at
first. Mrs. Easton rose excitedly.
She didn't so much as notice the
chair. She turned on Polly Pat.
"Miss Everitt, may I be allowed
to remark that in my early days
young people did not instruct their
elders? This society is not used to
being taught its duty by girls of six-
teen, by one — ^if you will allow me to
add — ^who has not been asked to join
the Ladies' Guild, and who is not a
Polly Pat stood up, her face blank
with a great surprise.
"Why, that's so," she said. "I
don't belong. I suppose I shouldn't
BJunders and Benefit 63
have come. I never once thought of
Polly Pat's seat was at the end
of a row. She turned so that she
faced them all, standing against the
dark library curtain, her two hands
pressing its folds. " And you don't
want me here at all, do you?'* she
Utter silence. Away across from
Polly Pat Alison Farwell ground
her handkerchief to a hard baU be-
tween cold palms. Something within
her fought to keep her silent; to be
champion too often was to fail, she
" Aren't you going to let me help
— in Cap's church? "
No whisper of reply. Tears do
not come readily to motherless girls.
Polly Pat had put crying aside in
those six years in which she had
stoutly mothered four younger than
herself. Hers was such a young face
there against the curtain, and it was
64 Po lly Paf s Par ish
grown strange now with the passion
of service upon it. None of those
women who saw her ever forgot her
"Then I'll go right away now,"
said Polly Pat. She did not know,
nor did they just then, that in the
hour in which they turned her out of
their society they took her into their
It was many months later that
Polly Pat leaned over her father's
shoulder to look at the diocesan re-
port he held out to her.
"Seel" he cried, his face bright
with boyish pride.
Polly Pat read. " But, Cap," she
spoke, puzzled, " they didn't seem to
like it at all that time I spoke about
Can't help that. It's the finest
mission report in the diocese," he re-
But all this came long afterwards ;
there was no such comfort for Polly
Blun ders and Be nefit 6 5
Pat that November afternoon. After
the last loiterer of the Ladies' Guild
had trickled out of the front door
and away, Alison Farwell still
waited. She sent the Four-in-hand
to search the house for Polly Pat, but
there was no Polly Pat to be found.
When she had reached her own home,
and, wraps handed to a maid in the
hall, had pressed on into the library,
she saw the red fire flame leap on the
polished andirons and also quiver on
something bowed perilously near to
the andirons, nothing else than the
burnished bronze of Polly Pat's head.
As Miss Alison entered, Polly Pat
jumped out of the dusk and hugged
"IVe gone and done it again,
haven't I?" she said despondently.
" Sit down, girlie, and let's talk,"
replied Miss Alison, herself sinking
into the great leather arm-chair by
the fire. It had once been very
lonely, that great comfortable chair
66 Pol ly Paf s Par ish
by the library fire before a little foot-
stool had been drawn close beside it
in the fire glow, before young hands
had pressed hers in the dusk, while
a girl whose bright hair Miss Alison
stroked, talked of many things. The
loneliness seemed remote now; in
reality it was only a few weeks away.
It was a beautiful room. Miss Ali-
son's library, rich with magic colours,
restful. Here and there from dusky
corners twinkled a bit of old brass,
^ool Hellenic shapes gleamed white
against the mellow walls. There
were pictures you had never seen
before that drew your soul along
strange new paths. From Miss Ali-
son's bookcases you could sail to
Wonderland in how many diflPerent
winged ships 1 If in all your life you
had never known things like these,
nor guessed how hungry you were for
them, and if to the magical peace of
the room there was added that most
comfortable presence. Miss Alison
Blunders and Benefit 67
herself — ah, Polly Pat was not such
a luckless young person after all I
Miss Alison's hand was soft on
Polly Pat's hair.
" I just wanted to do something,"
explained Polly Pat. " It seems
so queer not to have a chance to do
I've thought of something you
might do, dear.
" ± ve xnuugi
" It's the children," went on Miss
Alison, "the children of the parish.
We've never done very much for the
babies. The Sunday-school is a
pretty shabby little affair, I'm afraid.
What would you think of a little mis-
sionary society for the children, boys
and girls under ten, say."
"I've seen four little people who ^
are pretty happy when their big sister /^^^
68 Pol ly Paf s Pari sh
" Would they — ^would the parish —
let me? " Polly Pat asked wistfully.
" Yes, I think they would," Miss
Alison responded almost sharply.
PoUy Pat's spirits recovered with
the true Everitt elasticity. She bub-
bled over with plans, and Miss Ali-
son let her run on and on, both for-
getting that the November darkness
was growing black and that back at
the rectory people might be getting
anxious, until both looked up startled,
to see the rector standing in the door-
way. He looked very tired that
night. He had spent the afternoon
in Factory End, and there he had
heard things that shook him with
worry and his own helplessness. Then
home through the chilly twilight to
find no Polly Pat at the door, and
afterwards here to Hedgerows to
search for her ; he could not feel that
Forrestdale, as he thought of certain
dark-browed loungers he had often
seen in Factory End, was any too
Blunders and Benefit 69
safe a place after nightfall. It was
with relief that he paused on the
library threshold, drinking in the
peacefulness of the picture before
"Oh, Cap I" cried Polly Pat,
jumping up. " Is it so late? Were
you worried about me?"
"I'm not worried now," he an-
swered, smiUng, but speaking with a
weariness both Miss Alison and Polly
Pat were quick to feel; "but it is
late. I heard rumours of supper over-
cooked and 'Ziah is in that state of
mind she herself would describe as
a ' pepper- jig.' You'd better hurry
into your wraps."
Polly Pat flew away and the rector
turned to Miss Alison to pour out his
anxiety quickly before her return.
" Trouble's inevitable, I'm afraid.
I can see how it must have been gath-
ering for years. Forrestdale's re-
moteness and the lack of competition
here have obscured the problem
70 Polly Pat's Parish
somewhat, but in reality it's the old
problem — ^native American demand-
ing a man's wages against the for-
eigner willing for a time to undersell
him in day's labour. I'm too new to
the issues here to speak authorita-
tively, but it seems to me that the
just fame and high market value of
the Farwell work are due to the fact
that the factories are run by men and
women of good old New England
"They won't put the official de-
mand for the increased scale before
the Judge until the first of March,
but he and Jack Noble seem to have
been having some preliminary skir-
mishing on the subject, and the
Judge is as determined not to raise
wages as Jack is to have them raised.
The clash means a strike, the strike
means that the Judge will bring
in the foreigner. Then I don't
know what will happen to Factory
Blunders and Benefit 71
Miss Alison gave a little shudder
of repugnance. "WeVe always
been so quiet in Forrestdale/' she
said. "I hate the factories!"
" It makes it worse/' went on the
rector reflectively, " that Judge Far-
well and Jack Noble are both of the
same old New England blood; and
yet," he added boyishly, " that ought
to make them the best sort of team
"Ready," interrupted Polly Pat.
As they hurried home in the darkness
she told her father aU about her new
plan. He listened absently at first
and then with interest — ^perhaps to
bring the children, the little rich ones
and the little poor ones, together,
might help a little to bridge that pain-
ful chasm in his parish; at least to
think and plan with Polly Pat was
relaxation from the thought of those
deeper differences that no Infant
Missionary Society was going to
72 Polly Pat's Parish
Still the rector seemed to enter
buoyantly into Polly Pat's schemes,
gave out a stirring notice of the new
society from his chancel next Sun-
day; with Polly Pat canvassed Fac-
tory End for little members, remem-
bering that Factory End, little and
big, needed special urging to bring it
to the rectory.
Polly Pat came back from that
afternoon of calls feeling strangely
older. She had not dreamed that
Factory End was quite so gloomy a
place. Keenly sensitive as she was,
she could not account for the feel-
ing of oppression arid ill omen that
palled upon her spirits there. She
was particularly haunted by the face
of little Timothy Noble, a pale,
freckled little lad, with his mother's
wistfulness of eye and lip. Pally
Pat's heart, with its early ripened
motherliness, went out to little Tim-
othy, and as for Timothy, on that
same afternoon, he utterly lost his
Blunders and Benefit 73
heart to the minister's ruddy-haired
'' Miss Mary."
All five Everitts united in prepara-
tions for the first meeting. They
were all to be members of course.
The boys were somewhat over age,
but they were deemed indispensable
as hosts. Polly Pat had decided that
the end of the new missionary en-
deavour should be Indians. To stim-
ulate the infant imagination she
would place before its eyes pictures
of Indians, so she set the Four-in-
hand to cutting and pasting, various
mission journals afi^ording abundant
material. Thus in scrap-books you
could see the Indian pictoriaUy pre-
sented in all stages from beady-eyed,
placid papoose to scarred and bat-
tered and blanketed old chief. You
could see, too — and be fired to zeal
thereby — the Indian as he appeared
in photographs before and after ac-
The Four-in-hand snipped and
74 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh
pasted most earnestly, and since in
all its four little hearts it was loyal
to its father and had been brought up
on missions, it never acknowledged
how much it preferred the Indian in
a condition of blanket and wigwam
to the Indian in the garb and the
domicile of civilisation. As it pasted,
the Four-in-hand got itself and the
new library furniture most gloriously
A sweeter kind of stickiness af-
fected the dining-room table when
they came to making candy for their
impending guests. In the candy-
making Polly Pat insisted on a most
rigorous self-denial; you could eat
only such pieces as you accidentally
dropped upon the floor. Blitzen de-
veloped a most enviable adeptness in
dropping his portion, until poor An-
nette wailed, her little lips set with
painstaking effort, " I wish I could
Polly Pat, thus stem witH the
Blunders and Benefit 75
others, was inwardly discomfited to
find how much she wanted to eat some
The young Everitts made their
preparations under a constant fire of
protest and reprimand from 'Ziah.
'Ziah had indeed put up with much
in that rectory, and never before had
she brooked any inconvenience at
anybody's hands. Those who knew
her best might have detected signs
of restiveness on her part, even while
she toiled hardest for the rector's
family. A darkling purpose was
taking clearer and clearer form in her
mind. That night when she had at
last peremptorily swept the children
up to bed, and ten o'clock and half-
past and eleven found her still scour-
ing ofi^ sugar, ground hopelessly into
the dining-room rug, that purpose
flared into the certainty of resolve.
" This is too much," she flamed out,
as she straightened her aching back,
" I just will, so there! "
IT was the chUl, wintry dawn of
the next morning. In a blue
black sky the December stars
still burned brightly. Down
the third-floor stairs of the rectory
stole a stealthy figure. It was coated
and bonnetted, and just above the
sullen black eyes a heavy brown veil
was tightly bound. In the big third
story front room a strong, battered
trunk stood packed and strapped.
Just so many a time before had 'Ziah
Smithwick deserted in the hour of
need, while the household slept on,
confident of breakfast.
But never before had 'Ziah's heart-
strings pulled her back thus uncom-
fortably; Blitzen had sneezed last
night; was he taking cold? Paul
had a bruise on his knee no one but
A Victory TJ
'Ziah knew about; Dunder would
miss his baked potato; the rector,
whose meekness had ever abashed
'Ziah more than any severity, never
seemed to know what he was eating,
but he did like a good cup of coffee;
Polly Pat, it would teach her one good
lesson, but yet, yet — ^she was only six-
teen—and there was one of the six
'Ziah dared not think of at all, and
that was little Annette, her baby.
'Ziah gave herself an angry shake —
she who had wearied of many an
easier task, was she to be the slave of
The house appeared all dark and
silent and asleep, but one little per-
son there always woke up early, but
by law was compelled to lie still, gaz-
ing at the ceiling and watching the
square of window brighten into day.
What impulse prompted 'Ziah to
steal from door to door to listen that
all was well within? Her shoes
creaked frightfully, and a door
78 Pol ly Paf s Pari sh
popped open. There stood a wee
eariton flannel mermaid, for they still
tied Annette into a bag at night —
with tumbled curls and eyes bright
and dark in the light of the flickering
'Ziah's bonnet and coat and mit-
tens smacked of adventure. " 'Ziahl
Where are you going?" whispered
" Get back to bed quick I It's still
"'Tisn't! I heard the clock; it's
" Get right into bed," cried 'Ziah,
picking her up.
"No, sir," cried Annette, kicking
away with determination, not with
anger. " I'm going along with you.
You wait. I can get dressed the fast-
est of all." She could indeed. An-
nette was a small tornado at the toilet.
'Ziah's protests and pleadings she
met with unconcern, for little An-
nette at seven was sometimes a resist-
A Victory 79
less will, besides 'Ziah loved her, be-
sides — 'Ziah sat helpless on the bed,
until within five swift minutes An-
nette stood before her, garbed,
washed, but uncombed.
"Let my hair go," she said; "my
coat and hat are (Jownstairs. Come
on. Where is it we're going, any-
Frosty, starry, wonderful was the
out-of-doors into which they fared.
Crisp snow was under foot and the
street Kghts were stiU burning. An-
nette danced in ecstasy of adventure.
'Ziah was dazed and her feet aimless
with irresolution. "Where?" cried
Annette, both hands clasping 'Ziah's,
her glowing little face raised,
'Ziah did not answer, and at inter-
vals Annette repeated the question,
growing used to 'Ziah's silence, for
this mysterious morning walk was
fun enough without knowing whither
it led. They were drifting down to
8o Pol ly Pat^s Pari sh
Factory End, to Jack Noble's house.
Hither on other such walks 'Ziah had
come. From her sister's house she
would send for her tnmk and engage
horse and carriage to take her home
to that snug little f ann in the For-
restdale hills. Just five miles away
lay 'Ziah's own home and freedom.
Annette shivered from head to foot
at the noise, for suddenly, across the
stillness, one after one, booming,
shrieking, shrilling, the factory whis-
ties rang out six o'clock. All For-
restdale was used to that early morn-
ing shrieking of whistles, but down
here close by, in Factory End, the
whistles were deafening, discordant,
prolonging their noise on and on.
Lights woke up in many windows. It
would soon be breakfast time in Fac-
tory End. By and by it would be
breakfast time at the rectory, too.
They were at Jack Noble's gate —
should 'Ziah go in? But what to do
with this prancing, dancing witch of
A Victory 8i
a girl at her side? What to do with
her at this present minute ? What to
do with the love of her in all the
months to come? 'Ziah came to a
dead stand. Once more Annette de-
manded, "Where, 'Ziah?" and this
time at last her voice rang with com-
mand. 'Ziah looked down at her out
of her abstraction, and as she looked
something shook her through and
through, and she lifted Annette up
and smothered her with kisses, and
then at last *Ziah answered one word
"Homel'* And with this she
dropped Annette and turned sharply
about, and her feet, no longer pur-
poseless, bore her straight to the rec-
The Everitts had never had a bet-
ter breakfast than they had that
morning, nor a fiercer cook. Surely
it is only self-respecting to be fero-
cious toward those for whom for
love's sake one has given up freedom.
AN INFANT MUTINY
THE afternoon was long in
coming. Polly Pat was
all day tense with excite-
ment and the Four-in-
hand caught her spirit. When the
five young Everitts resolved them-
selves into a reception committee
they could he very delightful indeed ;
so that when the Children's Mission-
ary Society singly and in groups ap-
peared at the rectory door at three
o'clock, it was received by engaging
hosts and hostesses. Annette opened
the door, meeting her guests with
chattering warmth. The twins were
instantly friends with all the world.
Paul, aloof and without cordiality,
still enjoyed much popularity by
reason of that prowess in personal
combat which numerous small boys
An Infant Mutiny 83
near at hand, and small girls at a dis-
tance, had viewed and admired. As
for Polly Pat, all children found a
way to her heart straight as homing
There were some forty small peo-
ple assembled, and the crowded
library was soon in a hubbub of chat-
ter and confusion. True, there were
signs of disaffection that Polly Pat
was quick to perceive. On the porch,
the small overshoes belonging to Old
Forrestdale stood on one side of the
door aloof from those of Factory
End. In Polly Pat's room, where the
children had taken off their wraps,
small Flo Farwell, a nine-year-old of
spirit, had indignantly caught up her
coat from the spot where she had first
tossed it beside Mattie Noble's, and
had placed it with her little sister's
on a chair apart. Down in the library
the small folk of Old Forrestdale sat
in a group by themselves and did most
of the talking, while Factory End,
84 Po lly Pat^s Pa rish
clean scrubbed and shy, viewed them
wonderingly. Old Forrestdale wore
square-cropped hair and trim white
dresses, while Factory End exhibited
frizzes and stuffy woollens,
Timothy Noble, pale and wide-
eyed, followed Polly Pat as she flew
about, like a httle silent shadow.
This 'Ziah observed as she peeped
within now and then. Timothy's
devotion had somewhat softened his
Aunt 'Ziah toward Polly Pat. The
sight of him even moved her so far
as to comply with a request of Polly
Pat's for chocolate for the company,
a request indignantly refused earlier
in the day.
But the Children's Missionary So-
ciety never got so far as the choco-
late. Polly Pat rose to make an
eager address of explanation — ^the
meaning of missions, of their society,
the meaning of Indians. Her red
braids were tossed back, her face
glowed. She wished Cap and Miss
"While she talked, the Cour-in-haad passed about the
pictures of Indians "
An Infant Mutiny 85
Alison were there to see. She had
done what the grown-ups could not:
here were Factory End and Old For-
restdale seated together and every-
thing seeming fair and friendly
While she talked, the Four-in-hand,
in accordance with previous instruc-
tions, diligently passed about the pic-
tures of Indians so carefully pasted;
anon they would as diligently pass
the candy standing ready on the din-
President Polly Pat talked on
so eagerly of the needs of her In-
dians that her small hearers waxed
round-eyed with excitement and zeaL
It had been a matter of much con-
cern to Polly Pat just how this zeal
should be directed. They would cap-
ture some small redskin out there, by
proxy, of course, through some mis-
sionary in the field, adopt him and
educate him at a distance, and photo-
graphs and reports of his progress
would constantly be sent back to the
86 Pol ly Pat's Par ish
Children's Missionary Society of Cal-
But education takes money, and
this the C, M. S. must earn. It would
be fun and profit, too, she suggested,
if they give an entertainment in
which the small people should in tab-
leaux represent various aspects of
Indian life. Her suggestion as it
penetrated was met with shouts of
But when Polly Pat read the
names of the committee she had
chosen to assist in the entertainment,
there was a strange silence ; very few
of Polly Pat's audience understood
what a committee was, but at least
the Old Forrestdale half understood
and resented the proximity of their
names to certain others on the list
that Polly Pat read — Florence Far-
well, Timothy Noble, Joseph New-
man, Katharine Easton. Little Fac-
tory End was quite still, not imder-
standing, but beaming upon Polly
An Infant Mutiny 87
Pat, because it liked her well; but on
the other side was a buzz of whispers,
a shrugging of small shoulders, and
sidelong glances of the eyes. Grown-
up Forrestdale was not always frank,
but Flo Farwell at nine was a per-
fectly frank little snob. She was a
leader, too, and now she rose to her
feet with a flutter of curls and a rat-
tle of starched pique. Timothy No-
ble, gazing across at her, thought her
very pretty, notwithstanding the fact
that he was accustomed to hearing
Judge Farwell and all his house con-
Flo diddled about on one toe an
instant, then spoke out : " Miss Ev-
eritt, I know what a conmiittee is.
Mother has them, and Grandma. It's
where people work all together. So
I don't think we could have a com-
mittee like that you read. Katharine
and I don't know those boys. They
go to public school and we go to Miss
88 Pol ly Pat^s Pa rish
"Don't you think it would be a
good way for you to get acquainted
with those boys?" suggested PoUy
"Oh, no, we can't; they're from
Factory End, We don't play with
Factory End children — ever."
In Timothy Noble's pale cheeks
there mounted a deep red flush, but
he sat silent, passive as always. Not
so his younger sister, who had snap-
ping eyes hke her Aunt 'Ziah's, and
who always fought Tim's battles for
him. She sprang up. " Tim doesn't
want to play on that committee
either," she cried; "he wouldn't play
with Flossie Farwell, not if you asked
him I " She flounced down in her seat,
her eyes darting fire at Flo, who still
stood protesting, her head drooped a
little. All her mother's haughtiness
spoke in her next words — ^they were
as challenging to the minister's
daughter as in similar circumstances
her mother's might have been to the
An Infant Mutiny 89
" Miss Everitt, aren't you going to
change the committee? "
"No, dear," answered Polly Pat,
sorely troubled. "Wait a minute,
dear " for all the Farwell pride
and temper were flaming in Flo's
cheeks, and Flo Farwell was spoiled.
" Then I'm not going to stay here!
I'm just going home! I didn't sup-
pose there'd be Factory End children
here anyway. Mother didn't want
us to come, but Grandpa said we
should. I'm going home— you'd
better come, too," she turned to her
followers, seated behind her. These
hesitated, rose, were bewildered, but
finally, carried on by Flo's mastery,
swept out in confusion to the hall,
and upstairs for their wraps. But
as they began to move, Mattie Noble
jumped up, clutching the chair back
before her: " You won't play with us
— ^I can tell you what — ^my father
says — ^he says Factory End will show
the FarweUs some day — ^we'U show
90 Polly Pat's Parish
Timothy pulled her down and
turned a pale, strange face on Polly
Pat. "I'm goin', too ; we're goin' 1 "
" No, no, Tim, stay ; you mustn't
go off like this."
"Yes, I'm goin'; I ain't goin' to
stay here;" his sensitive lips were
tense. Polly Pat recognised a dog-
gedness she could not master.
Factory End followed Old For-
restdale upstairs after its wraps, clat-
tering on the polished stairs. Old
Forrestdale ceased its excited talk as
the other party entered. The Four-
in-hand, sorely at sea, went about
begging its guests to stay, urging
chocolate, candy, imploring them not
to be mad, to look at the pictures some
more — anything. A curious numb-
ness and inability to meet this crisis
had come over Polly Pat. It was as
if in a flash in this enmity between
little children she had seen all the bit-
terness that lay behind it, seen the im-
An Infant Mutiny 91
possibility of the task she had so
lightly set out upon. She felt helpless
as her precious C. M. S. rushed into its
wraps and rubbers, and swiftly, with
embarrassed leave-taking, vanished
from her grasp out of the front door.
Then at last she came to herself with
sudden resolution. -The Four-in-
hand stood in the haU gazing at her
silently, looking to her to do some-
thing. Polly Pat made a dash for
her coat and hat in the hall closet.
" It mustn't end like this," she cried.
"It mustn't I It isn't their fault
really. I'm going to see their
The sharp December air nipped
Polly Pat's cheeks to a bright rose
as she sped toward Factory End.
She arrived on the heels of the little
Nobles before they had had time to
undo muffler and hood, before Mattie
could stutter out an explanation of
their sudden return. Mrs. Noble,
bewildered by the abruptness of Polly
92 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish
Pat's entrance, ushered her into the
stuffy, shabby, over-upholstered par-
lour, without stopping to shut the
door into the room beyond. The chil-
dren and their mother stood gazing
at Polly Pat, waiting. Mattie's eyes
still snapped fire, but Tim's face was
full of a strange pain that made him
look like a little old man.
"They must come back," Polly
Pat plunged in. " They just must I
Not to-day, it's too late now; but
next week. We'll begin over again
then. You'll send them, won't you,
" I don't understand, Miss ^"
" Oh, ma," Mattie burst in, " that
Flossie Farwell, she wouldn't be on
the committee with Tim, and so she
got mad and went home and took all
the rest, and then Tim got mad, too
— ^you know how mad he is when he is
mad, and so we all came home."
" I won't never go back," said Tim
An Infant Mutiny 93
Oh, Tim," pleaded Polly Pat,
Flo Farwell was a sUij little girl
and didn't understand — I'm going to
see her mother, too, and we want to
try over again to see if we can't all be
friends in our society."
" I won't never come again," said
" What's this? " questioned a big
Tim shrank to Polly Pat's side.
He always shrank at his father's
voice. Jack Noble bent a dark
glance at him. For the first time
Polly Pat was face to face with Jack
Noble. His great figure filled the Ut-
tle doorway. He had hands of an
iron strength. Only the keenness of
his eyes contradicted the brutishness
of his jaw. "What's Tim been
" Nothing," Mattie answered; " it's
not Tim, it's that Flossie Farwell.
She wouldn't play with Tim on Miss
Everitt's committee. She got mad
94 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish
and we got mad, and we all came
away quick and ain't goin' again."
"You got a right to go if Miss
Everitt wants you."
" Ain't goin' just the same.''
Jack Noble hunched himself
against the lintel and surveyed the
group. A half smile played upon
his lips, giving to his heavy features
a whoHy unexpected look of intellec-
tual subtlety. Polly Pat resented his
gaze— it seemed to be studying her
as if she were a strange specimen.
"You're like him, ain't you?"
John Noble said slowly. "I been
studying him all this fall, but not
near enough for him to know it, I
guess. I ain't none of your regular
attendants, though I believe I was a
member once when I was a boy," he
chuckled, "but I watch him all the
same. You tell him from me it can't
What?" asked Polly Pat.
Nor you nor him can't mix fire
An Infant Mutiny 95
and water, rich and poor, them that
works and them that spends. The
world ain't made that way. 'Tain't
made fair." His face grew dark.
" No, sir, my kids don't go to no so-
ciety with Charles Farwell's kids!"
"But if," said PoUy Pat, "if I
could get the Farwell children back,
wouldn't you let yours come? "
"Goin' to see their ma about
them?" he asked.
" Yes." .
Jack threw back his head and
laughed, a queer laugh, half pure
humour, half bitterness.
" You're a new one to me," he said,
" you and him." Then instantly all
his amusement died away into a set
" Let the Farwells wait I " he said.
The early winter dark had already
shut down as Polly Pat hurried up
the hiU to Judge Farwell's house. Red
Chimneys, which lay just around the
sweep of hills beyond Hedgerows.
96 Pol ly Pat^s Par ish
The Farwells were all gathered
about the roaring fire in the great
hall. Judge Farwell and his wife, his
son and young Mrs. Farwell and
their two Uttle girls. Flo and Sybil
had had time to tell their story. Ev-
idently the family circle had been dis-
cussing it, for Polly Pat heard, as the
black footman opened the door, the
low, smooth tones of Charles Far-
"The man needs suppressing.
He'll spoil the town. He's on the
wrong tack with Factory End. Can't
he do his duty by them without mak-
ing friends of them? "
" I'm not sure," it was sometimes
diflScult for the Judge to Uve down
to his son's ideals, "that he can,"
growled the Judge's bass. " It's his
way. Maybe it's the right way, but
it's a mighty bad way for us just now.
Church and business are pretty well
mixed for the Farwells."
Then all perceived Polly Pat, as
An Infant Mutiny 97
the footman brought her forward,
standing there both shy and eager,
the firelight lighting her rosy face
and blown bronze hair. There was a
perceptible stiffening, a perceptible
effort to receive her cordially. In
spite of the antidote of Miss Alison's
influence, Polly Pat had not by her
behaviour on the occasion of the rec-
tory furnishing or the first meeting
of the Ladies' Guild endeared herself
to the hearts of Mrs. Farwell and her
Polly Pat swept straight to the
point, addressing Mrs. Charles Far-
" Won't you please make the chil-
dren come back? " she said. " Father
and I did so want to have the children
of the church all work together. It's
such a shame for the children to feel
like that. It was too bad of Flo."
From beneath bushy brows, Judge
Farwell's eyes surveyed Polly Pat
with a twinkle of liking. He won-
98 Pol ly Paf s Par ish
dered what it was about her that was
like her father.
" I am afraid. Miss Everitt, that I
must own my sympathies are with
Flossie," said Mrs. Charles Farwell.
" She knows I wish her to be very
careful of her acquaintance. No, I
think we shall have to withdraw our
little daughters from your mission-
ary society, for I'm afraid it is, as
you are trying to organise it — ^a little
"Of course it's mixed; I want it
mixed ; so does father. He wants the
whole church mixed."
Now Charles Farwell had for some
time desired to conamunicate certain
of his sentiments to Mr. Everitt.
He was not a man who chose direct
encounter, as did his father. He
chose another way now.
"Has it ever occurred to your
father," he asked slowly, leaning his
tall length against the mantel as he
spoke, "that he might possibly be
mistaken in the matter? "
An Infant Mutiny 99
Polly Pat flamed at the veiled sneer
in the tone.
"He isn't mistaken. Captain
couldn't be mistaken about a thing
like that I Why should your little girl
not have anything to do with Tim
Noble just because he's poor and she's
"There are other reasons," said
Mrs. Charles haughtily.
" What other reasons? " cried Polly
"My dear," said the other Mrs.
Farwell, gathering herself together
impressively, " have you ever thought
that you sometimes show a tendency
to interfere in matters that do not
concern you and about which, as a
very yoimg girl, you know nothing at
Everybody expected an outburst
from Polly Pat. No one in Forrest-
dale ever knew what the rector's
daughter was going to do or say next.
No outburst followed. Instead, Polly
Pat's temper collapsed before their
loo Polly Pat's Parish
eyes. Her eyes grew wide, her lips
trembled. Polly Pat on her high
horse would have provoked many a
saint; Polly Pat in hmnility was so
appealing that it hurt.
" I've thought so a great many
times," she answered Mrs. Farwell,
" afterwards. Perhaps I'd better go
now without saying anything more.
I suppose I've made the usual mess
of it. But I wish the chndren would
come back. Good-bye."
Polly Pat was such a desperately
honest person that it was sometimes
hard for ordinary persons to know
what to say to her speeches. There
was an embarrassed pause as she with-
drew, though the eyes of the Far-
wells were not wholly imfriendly.
The Judge at last cleared a husky
throat, jumped from his chair, and
followed Polly Pat to the door.
"Never mind," was all he could
think of to say.
Polly Pat at the door turned wide
An Infant Mutiny loi
eyes to his. " Do you think Captain
mistaken?" she asked.
The Judge hesitated just too long.
"But you like him, don't you?"
asked Polly Pat.
"I do I" the Judge thundered.,
though stiU husky.
Outside the hill road was black
under the December stars. Polly Pat
remembered they would be anxious
about her at home and hurried past
Hedgerows, much as she longed to
stop. Just below the gate there was
a turn, and here, as they neared home.
Miss Alison's horses always made a
sudden dash. Polly Pat heard the
soimd of wheels, knew by the sudden
clatter of hurried hoof beats that it
was Miss Alison's carriage, drew to
one side as the black shapes loomed
up before her, and then her heart
stopped beating, for just in front of
the horses, dimly outlined in the star-
light, was a little girl. The horses
reared on two feet as Gilmore pulled
1 02 Polly Pafs Parish
them up short, not daring to look be-
fore him. The child rolled like a ball
from mider the horses' hoofs, and
fell on Polly Pat — and it was An-
nette. The door of the carriage
opened. Miss Alison looked out.
" It's the minister's girls," said Gil-
more ; " we nearly drove over the little
" I ran away to look for you," ex-
Never before had Miss Alison
been stern to Polly Pat, but she had
just come from the rectory, where
the rector was just organising a
search for Annette. The white worry
of his face was before her eyes.
" Get into the carriage, both of
you," said Miss Alison ; " I will take
you home. Polly Pat, while you are
away busy with other children, per-
haps there are children at home who
are your first concern."
TWO FIGHTS AND TWO FIGHTEES
POLLY PAT always remem-
bered their first Christmas
in Forrestdale, not because
anything happened, rather
because nothing did, and yet every-
body seemed to be expecting some-
thing. Peaceful Forrestdale hardly
knew how to meet the curious tension
that pervaded the whole town. The
silent combat of wills between Judge
Farwell and Jack Noble subtly af-
fected all the place, combat more
dogged for the reason that both the
Judge and Jack were of the same
stock of old New England fighters.
True the Captain and Polly Pat
managed to make an uproarious
Christmas for the Four-in-hand,
merry-makmg in which even 'Ziah
joined with grim effort. But Polly
I04 Polly Pat's Parish
Pat herself had never felt so old, so
out of the Christmas spirit. She was
sensitive to every changing thought
in her father's mind, and she knew by
the growing tenseness of his eyes and
lips that he was girding himself for
battle. The strife that would tear
Forrestdale in two was surely coming.
Could one man stay it? Well, both
Polly Pat and her father knew that
he must try.
It had been agreed by the rector,
Miss Alison and Polly Pat in solemn
conclave that the C. M. S. should not
be revived. Polly Pat was strength-
ened in this resolution chiefly by the
memory of little Tim Noble's face
when Flo Farwell had refused to
know him — ^that little, patient, old-
man face made Polly Pat tremble at
issues too great for her. Besides,
Polly Pat was discouraged and there
is no discouragement like that of six-
teen or like that of Polly Pat. The
recollection of that dark evening, of
Two Fights 105
rearing hoofs, and her own Annette
fleeing to her still turned her sick and
faint. For the present Polly Pat felt
quite content to let Cap's puzzling
parish quite alone while she attended
to her own children.
Her own four were puzzling
enough. Paul, for instance, was
daily more of a problem. He was
not at all the pacific member of so-
ciety that a minister's son might be
expected to be. It had come to be
that whenever a certain compact,
silent ring of men and boys was ob-
served in the village streets, people
inquired, " Is it Pluto or the minis-
ter's boy? " Pluto was Charles Far-
well's bull terrier. It was always
either Pluto or Paul, for Jack
Smasher's encounters were more seri-
ous and more secret.
Dunder and Blitzen found it easy
to obey their father's command never
to engage in personal combat. The
twins were debonair and friendly
io6 Polly Pat's Parish
with all the world, but as for Paul,
the mere maimer in which he chewed
a straw as he marched down the vil-
lage street was an affront. Now, for
all his comradeship, the minister was
a disciplinarian. Many a time Paul
was smuggled in at the back door by
'Ziah, sponged off and put to rights
before proceeding farther. 'Ziah
always had a bit of raw beefsteak in
Perhaps the minister was not al-
ways deceived, but doubtless he some-
times felt a sneaking gratitude
toward 'Ziah. But there were times
when there was no winking at the fla-
grancy of Paul's disobedience. There
were dark half hours when Paul was
closeted with his father in the study.
On these occasions the twins took the
noisiest of baths, but Polly Pat and
Annette sat on the stairs with their
arms tight around each other. When
the study door was opened Polly Pat
rushed down to comfort — ^not Paul —
Two Fights 107
but the one that needed it — Cap-
If any small urchin had spoken to
Paul questioning the justice of his
father's seeking to restrain him in the
use of his fists, it is probable that Paul
would have pummelled the speaker to
the bitter finish, yet Paul's acquies-
cence in his father's decrees was ren-
dered unsubstantial by the fact that
his hero next in eminence to Cap him-
self was Jack Smasher.
It had seemed to the rector the
more he knew of John Noble — ^he had
little opportunity to judge at first
hand, for in some way the factory
foreman always eluded his efforts
toward acquaintance — ^that the man
had a mind above mere rowdyism.
Even Charles Farwell acknowledged
Noble's efiiciency, trustworthiness,
executive ability as workman and
foreman. All Forrestdale but the
Farwells attributed the success of the
factories to John Noble.
io8 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh
How was it, then, that Jack
Smasher's name came to be more and
more connected with the growing
lawlessness and rowdyism manifest-
ing itself now in once orderly For-
restdale? It almost seemed during
that January as if in the hush pre-
ceding the locking of the final fight,
Jack Smasher was relieving hioaself
by a boyish indulgence in the pleas-
ure of fisticuffs. Still, his example
was no good one for the roughs of
the town, and Forrestdale boasted a
corps of just three policemen.
The rector was discussing the mat-
ter one day with Polly Pat. It was
a January Saturday afternooft,
clear, cold, snowless. The rector was
leaning far back in his revolving
chair. Polly Pat was sitting on his
desk, her favourite seat. There was
one little drawer all dented by Polly
"Why don't you stop it, then,
Cap? "asked Polly Pat.
Two Fights 1 09
I? I'm not a policeman."
You make Jack Noble stop and
he'll make the rest stop."
" How am I to make Jack Noble
stop?" He viewed Polly Pat with
eyes still troubled, but also quizzical.
" Just go and tell him to stop," re-
peated Polly Pat with emphasis.
" IVe never been able to get hold
of him, never spoken to him— it's
rushing in "
"Grol" cried Polly Pat, jumping
down. " Gro right now. It's Satur-
day afternoon and he has the time
off. Here's your coat."
The rector found only Mrs. Noble
at home ; he had never found her hus-
band in, though he had more than
once surmised his presence behind
closed doors. Mrs. Noble's manner
had ever been apathetic, apologetic,
reticent. The rector felt that he
made little headway in getting ac-
quainted with the Nobles. But to-
day Mrs. Noble as she welcomed him
iio Polly Pat's Parish
poured out her heart in anxious
"Oh, sir, I'm glad to see you.
Seems though I couldn't stand it
much longer sitting here alone. No,
sir, he ain't at home. He's gone, and
took Tim. I don't dare go after
them. John don't mean had, he ain't
never hurt Tim had, but I ain't never
quite sure when he takes him off. He
ain't right fond of Tim. Maybe if
you'd speak to him — ^he thinks the
world and all of you."
" Of me? But I don't know him.
He doesn't know me."
" I guess he thinks he knows you.
We all know you all right, sir. I
guess you might find them back in
Owen Baker's lot behind Joe Pratt's
bam. That's where they mostly have
them. Maybe you could stop it."
" Stop what? "
"I don't just know. Maybe I'm
foolish. I guess I am. But Jack's
so black about the trouble in the
Two Fights III
mills, and he thinks Tim ain't got no
Joe Pratt's whitewashed ham
gleamed staring white in broad sun-
shine. On all other sides Owen Ba-
ker's brown meadow lot was girt in
by a high rail fence. Where the un-
broken barn wall reared itself like a
great white slab, on an upturned
wooden bucket sat a stalwart form,
hands on knees. On the brown sod
before him stood two small boys, hat-
less, jacketless, both fists knotted,
one upraised, waiting. They were
evenly matched, one small, stocky,
red-hau-ed, with the jaw of a buU-
dog; the other taller, lightly built,
nimble, but his eyes were frightened,
and there was a whimper on his lips.
The big man clapped his hands; out
" For him, Paul I Under the jaw,
the way I told you. Wake up, Tim,
— ^use your fists or wait till I use
112 Polly Pat's Parish
Over the fence at Jack Smasher's
right lightly vaulted a black-clad
form. A gloved hand was laid on
each boy's collar, and the two were
deftly jerked apart. The minister
faced Jack, a fine temper flaming in
his eyes, on his lips the scorn of a
man for a bully.
" Mr. Noble, I believe. I have not
before had the pleasure of meeting
you. Excuse my not removing my
hat. My hands are otherwise occu-
Then he let Tim free, but retained
his hold of Paul, who had first struck
out blindly at his captor, and then,
recognising him, stood quiet as a sol-
dier or a statue. Slowly the minister
loosened his grip. Paul picked up
his coat and shoved himself into it,
then, with his cap crushed in his
hands, he turned and at last looked
his father straight in the eye.
"What's to pay. Cap?" he asked.
His father looked at him long and
"For him. Paul! Wake up, Tilt
T>:'F KKW YCRir J
« » r. *,
Two Fights "3
keenly. At last he answered, " Noth-
" I meant," explained Paul, " when
am I to come to the study? I'll be
" And I meant that you're not to
come to the study at all."
" But you said I mustn't. Cap, and
"But I'm never again going to
say that you mustn't, Paul."
This father, speaking thus with
slow decision, was a new father.
Paul's roimd freckled face was knot-
ted into one great interrogation.
Back of his wide grey eyes an active
young brain struggled to explain a
new relation between himself and
Cap. His father's eyes never swerved
from the puzzled, face.
"Cap," Paul burst out at last,
*^how can I fight if you don't whip
me for it? "
"I'm never going to whip you
again, Paul." It was a curious
1 1 4 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh
weary tone in which he spoke. Paul,
the undemonstrative, fell upon him,
shaking him by the lapels of his
" Oh, Cap, please don't stop whip-
ping me I"
" Why not, Paul? ''
The boy's face was working pain-
fully. "Because it means — ^you
won't be the same. Cap."
Across the strain and sternness of
the minister's face there quivered the
sunshine of a smile. He ran his hand
over Paul's towsled red head. "If
you change, Paulus, then I'll always
be the same. Home with you now I "
he ended sharply.
Jack Noble's eyes were intense in
their scrutiny of the rector. Jack
was absorbed in his dearest pursuit —
what he called " studying his man."
He half muttered the result of his
observations, "New kind of Dad a
boy'd beg a whipping of. Not much
like Tim and me," glancing askance
Two Fights "5
at the figure that crouched in the
corner by the fence. But now the
minister, too, was studying his man,
and presently Jack, becoming aware
of this, shufiled up, kicked aside the
bucket and, with arms folded, stood
leaning up against the barn, the evil
spirit that possessed him that after-
noon gleaming fitfully in his eyes,
insolent to provoke if possible, and
yet keen to see whether the man he
had observed for months would fail
in the test he would put him to
" Well," said Jack Noble at last,
" youVe caught me square. I might
say Kke your boy, * What's to pay? ' "
"Something, by George!" ex-
ploded the minister. He allowed
himself indulgence in this assever-
ation not oftener than once a year,
but now something in this insolent
stare was stirring his temper.
" My wife says you've been trying
to get hold of me this long while,"'
1 1 6 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh
Jack went on. "Would you mind
telling me why? What have I to do
with a rich man's parson hke you? **
In the sneer meant to test him, how
could the rector know that Jack be-
lieved him a poor man's parson? But
curiously the tone had the effect
upon him of calming all temper in-
stantly. Nothing so bitter and per-
sonal as temper could come in when
the rector remembered that in For-
restdale he stood between the Far-
wells and Factory End.
The rector was sometimes like his
daughter in directness. " I'm no rich
man's parson, Noble, and I wanted
to see you to find out if between us
we couldn't do something to stop this
trouble that's coming, they say — ^the
John Noble's face turned black,
but in that blackness all of the mere
brutal bully passed away.
"'They say,' is right this time.
The strike is coming. No, you and
Two Fights 117
me between us couldn't stop it. No-
body could stop it but them, the Far-
wells, Job and that hound, Charles."
The minister offered no protest,
" IVe done a man's work, twenty
men's work, for 'em for ten years.
Every man of us is American over
yonder and we know our business.
All we want's a man's pay and a
man's day. Will they give it to us?
Not them! We've made their fac-
tories for 'em. Instead of us they'll
put in a lot of dirty dagoes taught
their trade over in the Italian silk
mills. Charles, he'll get 'em here."
"I believe he will," assented the
minister. "Tell me, Noble, what
good will that do you? "
"I can find plenty to do — other
places," answered Jack.
" But the rest of them, the others
over in Factory End? " .
" It'll be best for them in the long
1 1 8 Pol ly Paf s Par ish
"To be turned out of home and
work? I don't just see that myself/'
"Oh," growled Jack, '^you're on
" Noble, do you believe that? "
Jack's eyes dropped, shifted — ^he
could not face that direct gaze. He
shuffled from one foot to the other,
then spoke out with level eyes because
he must trust this man. "It all
comes to this in the end. Every
man's for himself, Job Farwell,
Charles — ^me — ^you."
"Didn't old Job make it worth
your while to come to me? " Jack's
eyes narrowed to a slit. The minister
sprang back, his fist involuntarily
knotted. "Didn't he send you?"
" My daughter."
Two Fights 119
"Didn't you come to beg me to
give in to the Farwells? "
"What did you come for?"
" To ask you to stop fighting and
to keep Factory End from fighting.
Talk of your being a freeborn
American citizen while you're mak-
ing Forrestdale a town of roughs
Still testing him. Noble sneered:
"Parson's talk. Fighting's good
for a fellow. You white-handed
preachers are against fighting be-
cause you can't."
The minister smiled. He was
genuinely amused, but the smile
Jack thought meant contempt, the
fine gentleman's superiority. He
had his man in a corner now. He
would try him to the uttermost. In
months of bitterness he had watched
him, hoping this man was true when
all others were self-interested. He
had proved to himself that the par-
I20 Polly Pat's Parish
son was not Job Farwell's tool. One
other thing remained. Could he
fight, this trim, clerical gentleman?
In Jack's curiously compounded
character one-third was pure bully,
the other two-thirds were better
things. All the fall he had strug-
gled to down a slowly growing hero
worship for the man he was now try-
ing his best to insult. It seemed to
Jack Noble that he could almost
give up fighting for the sake of this
man, provided, and only provided,
the minister would show that he could
fight. There would be some force in
an argument against fists from a
man who knew how to use his, yet
With a new purpose in his eye.
Jack Noble faced the minister. There
was only one thing that would make
him fight, he was sure of that. He
spoke now with indifi^erence, as if
their conference were becoming irk-
some to him. "We ain't hkely to
Two Fights 121
agree on the subject of fists, I guess,
nor on anything else, perhaps. If
youVe nothing more to say, I'll be
attending to a piece of my own busi-
ness. Here, Tim!"
Hugging the side of the barn,
Tim shuffled up, fear in every line of
his cowermg Uttle body.
" What did I teU you I'd do to
you if ever you cried in a fight again?
Now I'm a-goin' to do it ! " And one
great hand caught Tim's collar.
Tim's face went white but the minis-
ter's lips were whiter.
" Stop ! " His voice rang out.
"Stop? For you?"
Now beneath the minister's black
clerical dress there rippled the mus-
cles of a Yale athlete.
" Stop I " he repeated, quite low
"I ain't afraid of youl" goaded
Jack, a great joy in his eyes, one
heavy fist raised above Tim's back.
The minister whipped ofi^ his coat.
THE PEICE OF A MAN
SILENT, apprehensive, For-
restdale waited for the first
of March. All was quiet in
Factory End now, no longer
any rumor of fisticufi^s and lawless-
ness, for John Noble had kept a cer-
tain promise. The promise had never
been spoken, for he was one who
made promises to no man but him-
The slight hoUows were deepening
at the rector's temples while he, too,
waited for that ominous first of
March. Meanwhile he preached
fearlessly, and bolder words each
Sunday. The rector was not politic;
none of the Everitts were. He faced
Old Forrestdale in the front pews
and the fringe of Factory Enders
about the doors, both with intense,
unswerving eyes as he spoke on this
The Price of a Man 123
mid-February Sunday morning. It
was -only the old impractical dream
of all Grod's seers, the brotherhood of
all men, the principle applied now
and here — of all impossibilities — to
capital and labour I It appeared that
the rich man needed the poor man,
the poor man needed the rich man,
and only by the welding together in
mutual helpfulness of all our sharply
sundered classes could the world's
progress be accomplished.
The light from beyond the veil was
on the minister's face; the burning
words came : " Oh, my people, man's
divinest right is to love his fellow-
man. When the rich man so scorns
the poor man, when the poor man so
envies the rich man that each kills in
his own heart and in the heart of his
fellow all brotherly love, then do both
rich and poor alike but echo the cry
of the first murderer, *Am I my
brother's keeper?' My brethren, let
it not befal us here in Forrestdale
that there be branded on our fore-
1 24 Po lly Pat's Pa rish
heads the curse of Cain! " Then, his
eyes still burning bright, he half
stretched out yearning hands to
them, then turned instead and gave
the ascription. There is strange
magnetism in the words of a man
from whom all self has dropped
away — ^impractical, impossible, of
course, and yet here, at least, was one
who believed every man his brother;
also, if one stopped to think of it,
kinship with such a man would mean
that one would have to square one's
back and walk straight, shouldering
Charles Farwell fingered the
leaves of his Prayer Book uneasily
during the sermon, never looking up,
but the Judge faced the minister with
level eyes, and far back in the church
another pair of eyes, sullen, heavy-
lidded, never wavered from the
preacher's face. It was character-
istic of Mr. Everitt's sermons that
you always thought yourself harder
hit than your neighbour. The Judge
The Price of a Man 125
rose to take up the collection, his pur-
poses shaken for the moment Mdth
a perhaps. He was thinking, and
passed the plate absent and unseeing
until suddenly he felt an intent gaze
upon him, and raised his eyes to look
straight into those of John Noble,
searching, questioning. Noble in
church! It was imheard of! The
Judge half drew back the plate, then
extended it to receive Jack Noble's
dime, but the gesture of repugnance
had been perceptible. Both faces
were hard as the Judge passed on
down the aisle.
Service over, Charles Farwell and
his father climbed into the runabout.
The bob-tailed sorrel mare took the
road with fleet hoofs in response to
the little needle-like flicks of the
whip with which Charles, being out
of sorts, nipped her flank.
" Take the turn around by Farley
Creek before dinner?" suggested
" All right," responded the Judge.
126 Polly Pat's Parish
A sweep of clean macadam, swif t-
pomiding hoofs, flooding noon
smishine — at length Charles broke
"That man's dangerous."
"Everitt." The curtness of the
epithet was mipleasant to the Judge's
" He's sincere."
" Therefore more dangerous.
About the riskiest commodity in the
market — sincerity, mistaken zeal."
Charles Farwell turned and looked
at his father with piercing gaze, re-
straining an explosive interjection of
"How otherwise?" he asked
quietly, then waited several moments
before he pressed on, carefully sub-
duing all warmth:
"A sermon like that only
strengthens Factory End to fight us.
Capital and labour are brothers and
equals, are they? That parson would
The Price of a Man 127
have us give Jack Noble the rein,
would he 3 So that Noble might
drive us as we're driving Susettel"
For emphasis a particularly vicious
flip of the lash made poor Susette
rear on two feet while the Judge
gave a grunt of remonstrance at
being so jolted.
"No, that man must be sup-
pressed!" snapped Charles.
" Our rector, with his fine incen-
diary sermons ! "
The Judge was still curiously
silent. Charles eyed him with side-
long glances. " Infected 1" he mut-
"Eh? What's that?" asked the
"You don't mean me to beheve
that such charlatan eloquence has af-
fected you, father? "
" Keep your whip ofi^ that horse,
can't you? It's no question of elo-
quence, but I have been thinking
that perhaps a possible amicable set-
1 2 8 Po lly Pat^s Pa rish
tling with Noble would be best for
us all in the long run."
"Amicable! Noble! How long
have we known Noble? Is he the
man to be satisfied with one conces-
sion, or Mdth a dozen? Noble will be
for nothing or for everything. This
spring's fight means our success or
our failure — ^it's your will or Noble's
and you know it!" Then, after a
pause he turned square about. " You
do know it, don't you, father?" he
repeated. "Remember you have
hardly the right to risk the rest of
us. The firm is Farwell and Far-
"I suppose it's impractical,"
conceded the Judge reluctantly,
" but "
"Of course it's impractical. Be-
sides, I'm your partner and I agree
to nothing but fighting to the end."
Then a smile of boyish good humour
broke the cynicism of his face, for
Charles Farwell was honestly fond
of his father. "Remember, Dad,
The Price of a Man 129
FarweU and FarweU have got
on pretty smoothly for thirty-five
An answering smile softened the
Judge's face and Charles knew that
he had won.
"Now/' he said boyishly and
cheerfully, " IVe a scheme of my
own to propose. Want to hear it? "
" Go ahead."
"YouVe heard of the extraordi-
nary hold the rector has over Noble
— something recent but really most
remarkable. They say Jack's given
up fighting and keeps Factory End
as orderly as a cemetery, all on ac-
count of Parson Everitt. The min-
ister is a hero without a peer in Fac-
tory End, can do what he pleases
with all of them. That sort of man
always takes with that sort of men.
I propose we get hold of Noble by
getting hold of his hero, and so let
the minister manage Noble for us."
"How shall we get hold of the
130 Polly Pat's Parish
The Judge threw back his head and
laughed out a mighty roar that rang
across the wintry fields.
" Charles, you're a fool," he said,
genially, wiping his eyes.
Charles controlled his irritation
and answered doggedly, "Every
man has his price."
"Then the Reverend Brewster
Everitt is an exception."
"Prove it!" challenged Charles.
" How? "
" II What would he think if "
"Afraid, Dad?" asked Charles.
The Judge hesitated.
"Prove it!" snapped Charles.
" Prove it to me. Prove it," his eyes
narrowed ; " prove it to yourself."
" Good I As to the price, I admit
their prices difi^er, but men don't.
You can buy Everitt; but the price
is— his children."
"What do you mean?" The
Judge's tone was not pleasant.
The Price of a Man 131
"He's poor, isn't he? How far
does twelve hundred a year go
among that household? How is he
going to educate them? Is there
anything a man like that would want
more than the education of his chil-
dren? Try him there. If he'll per-
suade Noble to give in, offer him a
round sum to educate the whole
brood, the best America and Europe
can do for them all, from that im-
pudent eldest girl to the smallest one,
"Do you think he wiU?"
"Of course — every man has his
price— never knew it to fail. If he
hesitates, tell him it will be best for
Noble to avoid a row with us, best
for all his beloved Factory Enders.
Don't be afraid to appeal to his phil-
anthropy — ^that's part of the price,
" I don't believe it," said the Judge
slowly and firmly.
"Try it and see! It's worth try-
ing, isn't it?"
i 3 2 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish
" Yes," acquiesced the Judge, " I
suppose it is."
Monday is the minister's day of
rest, therefore Monday was a day be-
loved of the Everitts. It was always
closed by a pillow fight, waging
wildly from eight to half past. The
Everitts divided themselves into two
parties for the occasion. Captain and
Polly Pat being one and the Foiu*-
in-hand the other. They kept score
from week to week and the reward
of the victors of the previous week
was that they should hold the more
difficult and therefore the more
glorious position, namely, the lower
front hall, while stairs and upper
hall were possessed by the vanquished
in the last encounter. It was one of
'Ziah's curious whims that the white
pillow cases be removed before the
fray; over the fight itself she as-
sumed no control, since the rector
himself was chief participant.
Amid the great bellowing and
shrieking of onslaught, the ring at
The Price of a Man 133
the front door bell was with difficulty
heard, and not until it had been
twice repeated. When it was heard
there arose a groan distinctly audi-
ble to the visitor outside — "Com-
pany!'' A towsled and flushed
Polly Pat opened the door and ush-
ered in Judge Farwell. The battle
arrested stood with pillows still
poised in air. The rector, hastily
smoothing his hair, stepped forward
with extended hand. Suddenly the
twins broke forth in protest, deliver-
ing themselves in rapid antiphonal
" It's Monday and there's still ten
"Judge Farwell, say, won't you
" We'U get you a pillow."
** Just you wait."
"We can beat all three of you
The invitation was unexpected and
alluring. The Judge laughed and
complied. Poor Judge, the Four-in-
134 Polly Pat's Parish
hand utterly neglected their father
and sister and with undesirable par-
tiality devoted their entire energy
to him. He was towsled and red
and panting — and beaten ! — ^when
the clock rang half -past and the rec-
tor's voice cried, " Halt ! Victory
to the Four-in-hand. Close ranks.
Right about face, bed!" But first
the Four-in-hand stormed downstairs
and fell upon their father, ferocious
as bears about to devour, but this was
merely their good-night to him.
Under cover of their racket Polly
Pat turned a sweet, anxious face
upon the Judge. " I hope it isn't
anything to worry Cap," she said.
"Is it? Must you?"
The Judge had no chance to reply,
for the Four-in-hand, flown to the
top stair, were shouting: "What's
the matter with Cap?"
Both Polly Pat's rich, ringing
tones and the Judge's resonant bass
joined in the shrill response, "He's
The Price of a M an 135
"And now," said the rector, smil-
ing, " will you step into the study? "
The Judge found it extremely
hard to begin. The rector sat silent,
regarding the Judge with frank, ex-
pectant boyish face, making no pre-
tence that he thought this any merely
social call. The Judge, on his side,
was not one to play with prelimi-
naries. He left off regarding his
boot toe and said : " Mr. Everitt, as
you know, I'm in a good deal of diffi-
culty at present. IVe come to you
because I believe you're the only
man to help me out of it — ^if you
"If I will?" repeated the other.
" I hope I should not hesitate to help
you in any way in my power."
" This way is in your power," re-
plied the Judge, yet hesitatingly and
with doubtful eyes. He must go on,
but he hated to be disappointed m a
man, since he did not often go to the
trouble of idealising one.
"In one word, Mr. Everitt," the
1 3 6 Pol ly Pat^s Pari sh
Judge rushed ahead, "the name of
my difficulty is Noble. Other fac-
tory owners may have other difficul-
ties, but mine is John Noble and only
John Noble." Again the Judge
paused, regarding the rector's face.
"And now, my dear sir, do you
understand where you come in? " he
"No, I do not," replied Mr.
Everitt, his sensitive, keen-cut lips a
trifle parted, his eyes intent but blank
"They say you can do what you
please with Noble," said the Judge.
The rector started back, one hand
half clenched; across the clearness of
his face there shot a black cloud; he
understood. The Judge watched this
sign of the futility of his efforts, joy
pounding away at his heart.
Just here there came an insistent
rat-tat-tatting at the closed door, a
determined rattling of the knob.
" It's Annette," remarked one who
opened, and Annette it was, wearing
" Jumped upon his lap and knelt there "
The Price of a Man 137
her nightly bag, tight girt below the
knee. Her sturdy bare legs ter-
minated in immense slippers, for
Annette always appropriated the
paternal foot gear.
"Did you forget. Cap?" she in-
quired, adding in a brisk, business-
like tone, "my prayers."
"Come here," answered Cap
gently. Annette emerged from the
slippers and jumped upon his lap
and knelt there, her little bare toes
comically curled, eyes screwed tight
shut. Captain gathered her two
little fluttering hands into his strong
brown fist and put the other arm
about her, his head lowered and eyes
closed. " I lay me " was briskly gone
through with. Then " God bless
Cap and Polly Pat, and Paul, and
Dunder, and Blitzen, and 'Ziah,
and " Here Annette opened her
eyes for a flashing instant, turning
with a quick, bird-like motion of the
head, "and Judge, and make An-
nette Everitt and everybody a good
138 Pol ly Paf s Pa rish
girl. That's all. Giood-night. What
did I do with the slippers? Good-
night, Mr. Judge.''
She was gone before her father
raised his head and opened his eyes
once more, eyes now full of a slow
"Would you be willing, Mr.
Everitt, to listen to a proposition? "
resumed the Judge.
" Certainly," repHed the minister,
wearily, politely. He rested an elbow
on the desk and lowered his brow
upon his hand. His face was pre-
sented to the Judge in profile.
It was harder to go on now than
it had been to begin. " Of course,"
the Judge continued, " I did not ex-
pect you to be willing to give us your
help with Noble until you had seen
the question in all its bearings. After
you listen to me a bit you may see
matters differently, may possibly
think that your efforts would be
worth while, worth your own while at
The Price of a Man 139
The faintest smile touched the rec-
tor's lips. The Judge noted it, liked
it, and so pressed harder. " A strike,
Mr. Everitt, will do Factory End no
"That is true," acquiesced the
" Noble can control the strike and
" Then you are determined to
grant no concessions?" asked Mr.
Everitt, turning sharply on the
" None. To grant one would be to
pave the way for more. I imder-
stand business^ — and John Noble —
pardon me, Mr. Everitt — as a cler-
"That is perfectly true," again
the rector acquiesced, drily.
"Your influence with Noble and
Factory End would thus save the
poorer members of your congrega-
tion much unnecessary suffering. I
need not say what such service on
your part would mean to us."
I40 Po lly Pat's Pari sh
" That is quite unnecessary," said
" And now as to what such service
would mean to you, yourself."
" To me? " The tone was one of
" I pay my way," said the Judge
gruffly, " and ask no favors I do not
The rector swung about suddenly
in his revolving chair and regarded
the Judge. " He won't, he won't, he
won't ! " — ^thought the Judge, his con-
viction cheering him on to the test.
"Mr. Everitt, answer me one
question: Will your salary suffice
for the education of your children? "
" How do you propose to educate
" I don't know."
" You will grant that every father
owes his children an education, the
best at his command."
The best education for your
The Price of a Man 141
children is at your command, Mr.
Everitt, the best money can buy in
America $ind in Europe, for each of
the five. I promise it."
Mr. Everitt's eyes as they pierced
the Judge's were inscrutable. Was
" All you have to do in return is to
persuade Noble to a course that is
really the best thing for himself as
well as the best for us, the best for
you, and the best, as I've just sought
to demonstrate, for your children."
The minister's eyes never wavered
from their study of the Judge's face.
Your daughter," said the Judge ;
think what a college education
would mean to her, and European
" I am thinking," answered Polly
Pat's father. He was silent several
minutes, as was also the Judge.
" For her sake, then, you will,"
suggested the Judge.
White with rage the minister
leaped to his feet. " For her sake I
142 Polly Pat's Parish
will wot/^ he thundered ; " for her
sake I wiU live, God helping me, an
honest man to the end."
In the Judge's heart was joy, the
same joy John Noble had felt one
still January afternoon. Both had
tried a test, both had found their
man true. But the Judge winced at
the rector's white scorn.
"That any man should dare to
bribe " but Polly Pat had rushed
in, braids flying, had laid an insistent
hand on the Judge's arm, had swept
him all bewildered out of the door,
only flinging back to her father.
" Never mind. Cap, there's somebody
else to see you," adding to the Judge,
" Please hurry." He was out of the
front door before he had time to
think. Then PoUy Pat explained
" I hope you'll excuse my hustling
you out this way. I beg your par-
don, I truly do, but I had to, you
know. John Noble was there, and I
thought you'd better not meet."
The Price of a Man 143
Was it a sudden jealousy that
darkened the Judge's face ?
" Jack Noble," he queried of Polly-
Pat; "to see your father?"
" What for? "
"I don't know," answered Polly
Pat. "You have excused me,
haven't you? Good-night."
Something exploded on the
Judge's lips and his face was black as
he whistled to his coachman.
John Noble shuflBed into the rec-
tor's study. On the eve of the first
of March he had come to see the one
man in Forrestdale whom he be-
" I came in by the back door," he
explained, " seeing a carriage at the
" Yes," said Mr. Everitt, " Judge
"Come to see you?" questioned
" Yes," said the rector with frank
FAEWELL OE FACTOKY END?
THE first of March had
come and gone, and it was
ahnost with a sense of re-
lief that all Forrestdale
settled down to the fact of the strike.
It had seemed curiously silent at first
without the factory whistles. Grown
accustomed to that morning call to
rise and work, Forrestdale found it-
self waking restlessly and straining
ears for sounds that never came.
At first Factory End had felt
quite in a holiday himaour with its un-
accustomed idleness, but such humour
lasted but a few days. Always un-
derpaid. Factory End foimd itself
ill prepared for the emergency of a
strike, however long foreseen. The
very inadequacy of wages, by reason
Farwell or Factory End? 145
of which they were striking, made
even a brief suspension of work a
grim and daring fight. SuUen-
browed men were seen in little
groups at street comers. Women's
faces beneath their shawls grew
pinched with worry, for there were
a great many little mouths to fill in
Factory End. And the issue of the
Judge's obstinacy who could fore-
tell? The memory of the way they
had worked for him and of the way
in which he had tossed their demands
back in their teeth was galling.
Four weeks went by, and the crowds
at street corners grew thicker, brows
blacker, and muttered words more
threatening, but yet all was orderly
still in Factory End, and law-abid-
There was no effort made by the
Farwells to bring in foreign work-
men, although such effort on their
part was excitedly surmised in Fac-
tory End. To Farwell & Farwell,
146 Polly Pat's Parish
especially to Farwell Junior, it
seemed probable that it would not be
long before Factory End, remote
from example of other strikes as
Forrestdale was, would soon give in.
It was in these days of tension
that Polly Pat's round face came to
reflect some of the strain of her
father's. It was in these days, too,
that 'Ziah and Polly Pat relented
somewhat toward each other; for it
hardly seemed worth while to quar-
rel too fiercely over the housekeeping
in the presence of a much greater
To tell the truth, 'Ziah always
took a grim pleasure in any fight,
and now, when dull Forrestdale was
stirred by such dramatic excitement,
she had to have someone to talk to.
Blackening the range one morning
with a sinewy arm, she talked to
wide-eyed Polly Pat, seated, with el-
bows on the kitchen table. " This
trouble's been brewing for years —
Farwell or Factory End? 147
years. We all started even in this town
fifty years back, Farwells and No-
bles, Newmans and Eastons, but since,
some has gone up and some has gone
down, till there's one lot up there on
the hill and another down yonder in
Factory End — as was never meant
there should be. Farwells had the
money, so up they go. They hold on
to the money, too, while other folks
works for it. Where'd Farwells be
if it hadn't been for Jack? He made
their factories for 'em, and he can
spoil 'em for 'em, too, if they're goin'
to be so high and mighty. They say
the Judge ain't nearly so bad, tho'
bad enough, but that dirty little son
of his, the Judge lets him lead him
by the nose. You'd oughter hear
folks talk about Charlie Farwell!
"Don't know what we're coming
to. One thing I do know. Thipgs
would be lots worse in Factory End
if it wasn't for your Pa. He's
against rows, so there'll be none so
1 48 Pol ly Pat^s Pari sh
long as Jack can hold 'em in. Don't
know how long that'll be. Jack, he
thinks as much of your Pa as Tim
does of you."
Such conversations with 'Ziah were
none too reassuring to Polly Pat's
overwrought little soul. It was
more restful than ever before to sink
on the little footstool at Miss Ali-
son's knee in Miss Alison's library.
Miss Alison, looking down into the
upturned face where new shadows
were deepening the wide child eyes,
felt afresh her impatience against
Factory End. It was strange how
Miss Alison resented all that must
inevitably make Polly Pat a grown-
up. Miss Alison's impatience spoke
in her words one afternoon:
" Try not to mind too much,
dearie," she said, patting the heavy
bronze braids. She wished Polly Pat
might have grown up in the Forrest-
dale of her own youth, with only pla-
cid memories of a gentle old town to
Farwell or Factory End? 149
remember out of her girlhood. " It
will all straighten out again some
day. We shall all settle down and
find ourselves again, and it will all be
as it used to be in Forrestdale." She
spoke with a hope she did not alto-
" Was everything all right in For-
restdale then? " asked Polly Pat.
" Yes, dear; before there were any
factories, we were able to do more
for our poor than their own pride has
ever allowed us to do for them since."
But Polly Pat was thinking hard,
her whole face knotted in genuine
"Would Captain have liked the
parish that way, do you think? " she
asked ; she did not know that she was
challenging the very spirit of Old
Forrestdale. Polly Pat had a way
of asking heart-searching questions
most unconsciously. It was a very
long time before Miss Alison an-
150 Polly Pat's Parish
" I am not quite sure with just his
views that he would."
" Then it couldn't have been all
right," said Polly Pat.
" We were a great deal happier and
more comfortable, at any rate," said
Miss Alison, more to herself than to
"It wasn't quite being friends,
though, was it? "
"Being friends?" queried Miss
"I mean," explained Polly Pat,
"being friends with the Nobles and
the Newmans and all of them? "
"No, I don't think it was," con-
fessed Miss Alison.
"But that's just what Captain
wants the parish to be — friends.
Don't you suppose he can do it? "
Such an earnest face upturned m
question, such a young little facel
What could one do but place one's
two hands about it and kiss it? For
response Polly Pat slipped from her
Farwell or Factory End? 151
stool, and kneeling with her cheek to
Miss Alison's shoulder, whispered:
" Captain said to me once that the
factories would be perfectly splendid
if only Judge Farwell and Jack
Noble were friends, willing to do
things for each other, and that the
church would be perfectly splendid,
too, if only Old Forrestdale and
Factory End would be friends." A
pause in which Polly Pat's eyes stud-
ied the leaping fire-flame, and then
turned full-shining to Miss Ahson.
"You see, this is about the biggest
trouble Cap and I ever had, this
parish," she went on; "you see, I
haven't ever had enough troubles to
be quite sure — ^but they do quite often
come out all right, don't they? "
" Yes, gu-Ue."
"And anyway, you just have to
make yourself keep on hoping, don't
you? But, of course, the hardest
thing for me is that it's so awfully
hard on Cap."
1 5 2 Po lly Pat's Pa rish
"That is why you must make
yourself keep on hoping, for his
sake," said Miss Alison gently.
"Oh, won't it be lovely when
everything is all right again? " cried
Polly Pat, her face breaking from
worry into the radiant Everitt smile.
To those who came to know them
well, that smile, flashing across wide,
sorrow-shadowed eyes, came to be
very characteristic of Polly Pat arid
her father. It stayed in Miss Alison's
mind long after Polly Pat had sped
home, for some of the things Polly
Pat had said kept her looking into
the fire and thinking long that after-
noon. Would everything be "all
right again," she wondered, and
right, not in the old way, but in this
new impractical way of the minis-
ter's? Well, she thought to herself,
with a quizzical bit of a smile, if these
Everitts had done nothing else, they
had certainly set Forrestdale to
Farwell or Factory End? 153
If Alison Farwell could sit in her
library and think calmly of the issues
at hand, such impersonal detachment
was not easy for some others in For-
restdale. Every day Judge Farwell
drove to his locked and empty facto-
ries and himself went through them,
all the five red brick buildings, every
room of them, and then drove off
again, not noting by so much as the
lifting or lowering of an eyelid the
ominous knots of idlers who sullenly
observed his grim brigadier figure.
Charles Farwell had never for-
given the rector his incorruptibihty,
and still less had he forgiven a subtle
influence he believed the rector to ex-
ert over his father. True, the Judge
was bowing in all the factory busi-
ness to his son's superior astuteness,
but while he no longer lingered after
service, he still attended church as
regularly as did John Noble, and he,
furthermore, insisted on the contin-
ued presence in the family pew of all
154 Polly Pat's Parish
the ladles of the Farwell household.
There had been some domestic bick-
ering on the subject, but here
the Judge's will had outweighed
Charles's. Charles had to be content
with absenting himself and with free
discussion in the homes of his For-
restdale friends of the rector's atti-
tude toward Factory End.
Now, be it remembered, for some
years, just as the name of Farwell
& Farwell had represented the
factories, so had it represented the
oflSce of warden ifi Calvary Church.
The rector was not surprised, how-
ever much saddened, by receiving one
afternoon notice from the clerk of
the vestry that Charles Farwell had
resigned the position of junior war-
den. The Captain was fagged with
Lenten services and long strain; he
was temporarily, inclined to be a little
gloomy, wondering if the Judge's
resignation as senior warden would
follow, and then those of other ves-
Farwell or Factory End? 155
trjmaen. Possibly, the rector re-
flected grimly, his own resignation
would be requested to follow the
withdrawal of the Farwells. He
could hardly expect to be popular
with any who had an interest in the
Farwell factories. For himself, he
had forgiven the Judge, but he could
hardly expect the Judge to forgive
him. At any rate, there was a gloomy
enough Easter in prospect.
But, in reality, Mr. Everitt's dis-
couragement carried him far afield.
If Factory End turned to him as the
one friend they could trust, with
quite as warm affection did Old For-
restdale regret those sharp lines of
worry at their rector's lips and tem-
ples. Despite Charles Farwell's dis-
affection, never had Lenten services
been so largely attended, never had
collections been so generous, never
had the Sunday-school been so popu-
lar, or its pupils practised their Easter
carols with such heartiness.
156 Polly Pat's Parish
As for the Ladies' Guild, both in
the rectory and out of it, it fairly
buzzed with activity. It had plenty
of money at its command, too, the
Judge saw to that, stipulating only
that the rector should not know
whence the largest contributions
came. As to where these contribu-
tions should go, if the never-to-be-
spoken secrets of the Judge's soul
had been known, it would have been
found that he, as well as the rector,
wished that they might go to relieve
some of the women and children of
Factory End kept its troubles to
itself, but yet there were rumors that
reached Old Forrestdale making its
comfort uncomfortable. It was a
bitter March, but Factory End was
economising in fuel; there was sick-
ness there, too, and hunger. When
Factory End came to church it stared
with dogged, sullen eyes at Old For-
restdale, forbidding sympathy. It
Farwell or Factory End? i57
came to church with sullen motive in-
deed, meaning that Old Forrestdale
should never think that Mr. Everitt
was only the rich man's rector, fiercely
intent to show those others that he
belonged to Factory End. Curious
anomaly of human nature that the
fact that both parties worshipped
under one roof, only sundered them
more sharply when it came to giving
or receiving help. Factory Enders
would starve, but they would not be.
treated as beggars by those who re-
fused to treat them as men. It was
most true, what the Judge had once
said, that church and business were
pretty well mixed for the Farwells; ^,
they were pretty well mixed just now'
in his own conscience. However much
Old Forrestdale might regret the
passing of the old ways of helping
its poor, was it really true now that
it could help them only by being
friends with them?
Busy with many meetings, the La-
1 5 8 Pol ly Paf s Pari sh
dies' GuUd surged through the rec-
tory so that many secrets of the Ev-
eritts were made known, but to no
unsympathising friends, for it be-
came more and more evident to For-
restdale that the Everitt family
needed immediate adoption. A gen-
tier, more subdued Polly Pat had
grown very appeahng, and as for
Annette, many a mother longed to
get hold of the child and dress her as
other children were dressed. She
was really very pretty except when
her parted lips revealed the startling
isolation of two great front teeth.
Mrs. Job Farwell, sitting behind the
Everitt pew in church, found herself
contrasting Annette's shabby, queer
little duds with the daintiness of her
own granddaughters. She was not
altogether surprised by the revela-
tion that came to her one early- April
The President of the Ladies' Guild
was bustling out after a protracted
Farwell or Factory End? i59
meeting, when her ear— a grand-
motherly ear, remember, and not
much more imsympathetic really
than her husband's — ^was caught
by a smothered sound from the
study. Whenever Polly Pat had
anything particularly hard to do she
took it to the study; if Captain was
present, that presence helped; if he
was away, as on this afternoon, there
was something comforting about his
Mrs. Job Farwell cautiously
pushed open the door. Spread over
the study desk was a clutter of sew-
ing, thread, shears, a great billowy
mass of brown cashmere, and on top
of all a red head was bowed ; no sign
of life but those same smothered
sounds, and every now and then the
spasmodic kick of Polly Pat's foot
twisted about the leg of Captain's
desk chair. You would not have
thought pompous Mrs. Farwell could
have been so readily transformed
i6o Polly Pat's Parish
into the cooing, anxious comforter.
" Dearie, dear, what is it? " she asked,
laying her hand on Polly Pat's
Polly Pat raised a flushed face, re-
bellious at tears,
" Clothes are the only thing I ever
cry about," she said. "I just can't
sew. It's a dress for Annette," she
explained, giving a savage shove to
the brown waves before her.
It was a new role for Mrs. Job
Farwell to play grandmother to
Polly Pat. Together they folded
away the troublesome sewing and
Polly Pat's face was bright again
when Mrs. Farwell drove away, and
in the latter's mind were several new
thoughts, and one of them was of di-
rect appeal to the President of the
Never before had that organisation
accomplished more in ten brief days,
perhaps because this work was so
much more enjoyable than any it had
Farwell or Factory End? i6i
ever done. Old Forrestdale had in-
herited traditions of exquisite needle-
work, whereas the sewing it had
always done in years previous fo!r
Factory End, and this year for the
Indians, had always been so practical,
so substantial and so ugly. The lit-
tle garments they were making now
were of an exquisite daintiness, and,
moreover, into every stitch there went
the love of every woman for a moth-
erless little girl.
By Mrs. Farwell's advice, Polly
Pat had never again taken out the
brown wool for Annette's dress, but
the reason of this advice she little
guessed, until Thursday afternoon
of the week before Palm Sunday.
Captain had been called away for the
afternoon, and would not return
imtil late in the evening. Polly Pat,
growing restless in his absence, had
gone down to Factory End to look
up some of her absent Sunday-school
scholars. The reason for their ab-
1 6 2 Poll y Pat's Par ish
sence was instantly forthcoming —
" We didn't dare buy nothin' new
this winter before March," explained
Mrs. Noble, "and we certainly
couldn't buy nothin' since, and Mat-
tie's coat sleeves are clean through be-
yond my mending, and I don't want
her to go to Sunday-school ragged."
It was the same story from the
Newmans — ^no shoes, ragged coats,
patched and outgrown dresses. Per-
haps Factory End made the worst of
its poverty, finding so sympathetic an
ear. Perhaps all was not so bad as
Polly Pat believed, but the complain-
ing of the women, the haunting,
weary faces of the men, the children
listening to their mothers with such
early uncanny comprehension of the
distress, wrought Polly Pat's excit-
able soul to the highest pitch. Hurry-
ing home, she quite forgot that Cap-
tain was away and that it was 'Ziah's
afternoon out. The Four-in-hand
Farwell or Factory End? 163
flew from the house, hatless, coat-
less, and fell upon her when she was
still a block away.
"Oh, Polly Pat, boxes!'* cried
"Boxes and boxes 1*' exclaimed
" Five,'' said Paul.
"Addressed to you," added An-
The boxes bore signs of much cu-
rious handling, but had not been
opened, five great pasteboard boxes,
which revealed at first only a filmy
mass of white tissue paper and pink
ribbon. Each box presented this
same result, for each of the five had
appropriated one and was tear-
ing away with fingers and teeth at
the knots. " Letter for you in mine,"
announced Paul, handing it over to
Polly Pat. It was a charming little
note from Mrs. Easton, secretary of
the Ladies' Guild, begging " Miss
Mary " to accept for her little sister
1 64 Polly Pat's Parish
the affectionate work of the women
of her father's parish.
Garment after garment the Four-
in-hand lifted aloft, dancing arid
shouting with approbation. There
were frocks arid coats and little slip-
pers and shoes and gloves and stock-
ings to match, all of softest and finest
! material, and no less than three beau-
! tiful hats beside. Annette soon
i wearied of her sister's and brothers'
enthusiastic trying on. The boxes
had been an excitement, but clothes
did not in the least interest Annette.
Suddenly Polly Pat sat down, her
face pale, her mouth and eyes wide,
that mysterious, far-away look upon
" What is it? " cried BUtzen.
" Hush, she's having a plan," said
Paul; "keep quiet."
Motionless they watched her in-
\ tently, until she sprang up and began
j thrusting their contents into the boxes
? and tying all up again.
Farwell or Factory End? 165
"Polly Pat, what is it?'' whis-
pered Annette, but " After supper,*'
was all that could be extracted from
Supper was swiftly disposed of. It
consisted of bread and milk served
in bowls on the stationary washtubs.
" Now? " asked the waiting Four-
in-hand, agog with curiosity.
"Put on your things and come,'*
answered the mystifying elder sister.
They obeyed. " Now, each a box
and follow me," she said. Evening
walks were forbidden; "but I don't
believe Captain will care if we all five
go together," Polly Pat assured her
'Ziah returning at nis^e found an
open and empty rectory. When the
five came in a half hour later, obvi-
ously fiushed and elated, neither
threats nor entreaty could extract
from them any account of their
TWO MEN AND THE MINISTER
IX was a bright Palm Sunday.
The Ladies^ GuUd sought to
keep its eyes forward, but yet
there was a perceptible turning
toward the middle of the church
when Polly Pat, holding little An-
nette's hand, walked up the central
aisle. But the prophetic thrill of
pride turned to a chill of dismay —
Annette on this fair spring Sunday
wore a short-waisted, outgrown coat
of some kinky white woollen mate-
rial, the white much the worse for
wear, making Annette resemble a
shabby white polar bear. On her
curly head was set a once white tam,
her brown, imgloved hands stretched
out far from sleeves shrimken back
before the year's growth of little
The Ladies' Guild looked at each
Two Me n and the Mi nister 167
other, and then tried to look dutifully
at the processional hjrmn as they
stood up, but always their eyes went
back to little Annette, clad in no
^ glory, but wearing the winter weeds
that had so long troubled her fa-
ther's women parishioners. Well, the
Ladies' Guild must wait for an ex-
planation at least until after service.
They got it then with a shock. The
Everitts sat well in front and were
late in getting out after service. The
Ladies' Guild was in the vestibule
and overflowing out upon the pave-
ment. Sunday school came at once
after church. Little folk of Old For-
restdale and of Factory End, in
sharply separated groups of course,
were wont to assemble at the churcK
door, impeding the progress of an
out-going congregation. It was just
here, and just now,' that the Ladies'
Guild saw and understood.
Mattie Noble blossomed radiant in
a little box coat of tan topped by a
1 68 P olly Paf s Pa rish
I white leghorn hat wreathed with
apple blossoms. Four-year-old Ted
! Newman pranced about on new and
shiny patent leather feet. His elder
sister, proudly disregarding any
j wrap, pirouetted about in a little
white wool dress embroidered in ex-
quisite design. Another coat of soft
baby blue ornamented the square
shoulders of Rosa Ellis. Look where
they would, the Ladies' Guild beheld
Factory End flowering gaily in the
damty garments made with such lov-
ing devotion for Annette Everitt.
Now, Factory End mothers com-
ing out of church were wont to linger
to look over their offspring about to
enter Sunday school, to shake out the
frizzes of the small girls, and slick
down the locks of small boys. To-
day mothers gazed proudly at their
resplendent little folks, but yet with
a return of misgiving and a dread of
they didn't know what, now that the
youngsters stood thus prominently
Two Men and the Minister 1 69
under the unfriendly eye of Old
Mrs. Newman, 'Ziah Smithwick,
arid Mrs. Noble stood talking to-
gether, *Ziah eyeing her young niece
with sharply curious eyes. Mrs. No-
ble had not dared to tell 'Ziah of
Polly Pat's sudden descent with mys-
terious and beautiful gifts. Mrs.
Newman and Mrs. Noble shrank
back suddenly against the cold stone
wall at a voice that rang out, drown-
ing all other voices — ^Mrs. Easton's —
singling out Mattie Noble to stand
forth: " Where did you get that coat
and hat? "
"Miss Mary Everitt, she gave
them to us," answered Mattie in none
too mild a tone.
At Mrs. Easton's back pressed
Mrs. Job Farwell and Miss Alison.
Sharp-tempered Mrs. Easton cer-
tainly voiced the sentiments of all the
Guild when she continued to Mattie:
"Well, you may just give them
170 Polly Pat's Parish
straight back to her; they belong to
her sister. We gave them to her."
In a flash 'Ziah understood. She
flung herself forward:
" Annette's 1 Then she shall have
Mrs. Noble was shy; it was hard
for her to speak, yet she had her own
Tim's bravery, for Tim was brave,
though no one knew it. Her little
face was working, scarlet spots were
on her thin cheeks.
" We'll give 'em back; we're ready.
We mistrusted there was something
wrong all along, but when she came
with her eyes all shiny and the coat in
her hand, and tries it on Mattie and
catches her up and kisses her — ^why,
ma'am " — she spoke to Mrs. Farwell
— " how could we ask her where she
got 'em? We mistrusted, but yet
what was we to do? * Wear 'em next
Sunday,' she says. Oh, ma'am, how
was we to hurt her feelings? What
is it you want we should do? "
Then, of a sudden, the hardness
Two Men and the Minister 171
went out of all faces, those of Fac-
tory End mothers and those of the
Ladies' Guild. It seemed that they
understood each other, and behold,
they had something in common — ^a
problem, for what were they to do?
And to one coming upon the whole
group suddenly, they really appeared
at the moment to be talking together
as if they were friends-therefore
Polly Pat was to be forgiven the mis-
take. She stood on the church steps,
quietly come out upon them, a vivid
figure against the dark doorway.
They saw that she saw them, and
they knew that the wonderful kin-
dling light in her face was because of
them, because of what she thought
she saw. She came down, she laid
one hand lightly on Mrs. Farwell's
arm— she was no longer afraid of
Mrs. Farwell — and the other on Mrs.
Noble's shawl; she spoke to those of
the Ladies' Guild.
"You don't mind, do you? I had
to; they needed them. And besides,
17^ Pol ly Pat's Pari sh
it seems, oh, it seems a little bit as if
it was making you friends."
And pray, what was to be done
about Annette's wardrobe then?
Both then and after — ^nothing. Only,
being under those radiant eyes, the
Ladies* Guild and Factory End had
nothing to do but to say good-bye to
each other in friendly wise.
A little smile touched Miss Ali-
son's lips as she drove home. It had
occurred to her to wonder which was
doing more for Forrestdale, Mr.
Everitt's wisdom or Polly Pat's
It was the very next day that Miss
Alison had an opportunity to
strengthen the rector's purpose with
some of her own new hopefulness.
He had sought her in his puzzlement.
As they sat in the quiet library, seem-
ing so far away from all the strife
and strain, the rector's whole self
looked out of his wide, weary eyes as
Two Men and the Min ister 173
"Miss Farwell, is there anything
left for me to do ? "
" Yes/' said Alison Farwell.
" What? "
Miss Alison's quiet meditative re-
pose steadied his excitement; she
spoke half to herself, for she was
thinking of Polly Pat's words as she
said : " If they could only be friends,
Old Forrestdale and Factory End;
John Noble and my cousin "
" An impractical dream," said the
" But your own," answered Alison
Farwell, smiling. " Allow me, now,"
she added, "to make an impractical
suggestion. Bring John Noble and
my cousin together. Arrange a meet-
ing between them — ^wait and see what
" Hate like that I " said the rector.
"No one could bring those two to-
"No one but you, Mr. Everitt."
Her steady, quiet eyes looked straight
174 Polly Pat's Parish
into his, speaking the hope he him-
self had taught her. Slowly hope
touched his tired face, too. He rose
to go. " I wiU try," he said sunply.
The rector was conscious of
Charles Farwell's vanishing coat-
tails as he was shown into the Judge's
inner office. Since the evening of the
Judge's visit to the rectory, Mr.
Everitt had not crossed his threshold,
either here or at Red Chimneys. It
was not because the rector was un-
willing to meet the Judge, it was be-
cause he knew the Judge would be
unwilling to meet him. " He knows
I know he's a scoundrel," thought the
minister to himself. " I couldn't ex-
pect him to forgive me for knowing
he's a scoundrel." Yet, in spite of
the ugly word, Mr. Everitt no longer
bore the Judge any ill feeling; cher-
ishing of grudges was not an Everitt
characteristic, and, besides, was not
Judge Farwell a member of his par-
ish? For the rector in the earlier
days of their acquaintance there had
Two Men and the Minister 1 7S
always been something likable about
the Judge, that twinkle back of the
sternness of his eye, that twitching
of grim lips at a joke.
The Judge would be there in a
minute, the office boy had said. Pres-
ently he stood in the doorway, hesi-
tant on his own threshold. He looked
all his seventy years that afternoon,
and there was another thing that hurt
the rector; the Judge's look was nat-
uraUy direct and searching, but now
his eyes were veiled and shifty with
a shame he vainly sought to conceal
by a conventional greeting.
" I am glad to see you, sir. Pray
The rector extended his hand with
its hearty grip. The Judge seated
himself ponderously in his office
chair at the rector's left, his bushy
brows drawn together by a frown,
one hand making idle passes with a
pencil on a bit of paper. He did not
look at the rector; of all sensations
that the Rev. Brewster Everitt did
1 76 Pol ly Pat^s Par ish
not enjoy, the worst was the knowl-
edge that he was making a man feel
ashamed of himself.
"Judge FarweU," he said, "I
know I'm officious, and I know you'll
think so. But I don't see my way
out of it, so I beg your pardon before
" Go ahead," muttered the Judge
to the little pad in his hand.
" I want to ask a favour," contin-
ued Mr. Everitt, "although I've no
right to ask it."
"You've the best right," growled
the Judge quite low. "I insulted
you." Did the rector know how hard
it had been for the Judge to live with-
out his own self-respect for those past
"I had hoped you'd forgotten,"
said the minister.
" Had you? ''
"I'm going to — ^if you'll help,"
said the other, smiling.
At seventy there was much of the
boy left in Judge Farwell. He
Two Men and the Minister i "j"!
swung about, his eyes looked out now
level and direct.
"What do you want?" he said;
"No," said the rector quickly.
"I'll ht)ld you to no rash promises.
You must hear first. I want you and
Noble to meet, by yourselves, and
listen to each other — civilly and sen-
sibly — for just half an hour."
The Judge's whole figure stiff-
ened, his mouth was set, an ugly
light burned in his eyes, then passed,
leaving his face quiet, intent.
I keep my promise," he said.
But I don't keep you to that, as
I said just now," answered the min-
"I will do it," said the Judge
slowly, "because, as I said before,
youVe a right to ask a favour."
"Not for that reason, of all
others," cried the minister, flushing.
"Well, then," said the Judge, a
grim smile touching his lips, " I'll do
it anyway, for no reason at all, if you
178 Pol ly Pat^s Par ish
like. But," his face was swiftly
darkened, " but I hope you don't ex-
pect any good to come of the inter-
There was the mark of a sudden
stab of pain in the rector's sensitive
face, ' swiftly followed by a little
smile as he pleaded. " But you won't
take from me my right to hope, will
It was much harder work than the
rector had expected to get Jack
Noble to consent to the interview.
" No," he kept reiterating doggedly,
"it won't do no good. It ain't no
use. You don't know the Farwells
the way I do. A man like you
" Well, anyway, you'll try? "
" What's the use? He won't, if I
will. If you do get me to give in to
a meeting, how are you going to get
"I got him first, of course," an-
swered the minister drily.
Wednesday afternoon was wear-
Two Men and the Min ister 179
ing toward evening under a chiU,
heavy sky. Factory End, under the
awakening of spring, only seemed to
look more squaUd in the cloudiness
and threatened rain. The Judge
was late in making his afternoon tour
of his factories. The idle crowd
about the factory doors was larger
than usual. John Noble made a
point of never being far from home
at the hour of the Judge's inspection.
This afternoon the crowd was quieter
than usual; even they themselves did
not know why ; everyone felt a tense-
ness in the air, it seemed as if the
slightest movement might snap it.
So they waited, waited, as they did
every afternoon, to see the Judge
The trap rattled up at last, the
Judge's broad-shouldered figure in
the back seat, towering above that
of the little black coachman in front.
Susette was jerked up sharply at the
door of Factory A. Curious how
the crowd without a word pressed
i8o Pol ly Paf s Par ish
closer on the trap, closer, closer. The
Judge's elbow brushed Dan New-
man's breast as he jumped out. There
was a bare passageway for the Judge
between Susette's side and the front
row of the strikers. The Judge
marched on up the steps. He did not
so much as turn his head, though he
passed close enough to feel the breath
of the men who hated him. He
paused as he slowly unlocked the
great door and entered, leaving it un-
locked behind him. The crowd out-
side, still perfectly quiet, surged for-
ward. But someone had faced them,
his broad back against the door. Jack
Noble folded his arms.
"No, you don't, boys," he said,
very quietly. They fell back, but
their stillness was not reassuring.
"What you doing for us your-
self, Jack?" growled someone. In
that low growl Jack recognised the
last throes of the fight, his fight to
keep Factory End from violence.
Two Men and the Minister 1 8 1
Not a lash, however, quivered as he
staked his last hope.
** I'm going to do something now,"
he said as he turned and entered,
closing the door upon them; "wait
till I come out/'
Through the great cavernous
rooms, in the shadows of which
lurked strange shapes of motionless
machinery, the Judge's slow steps
echoed as he went through his in-
spection. No, no one had tampered
with the machines, the great engines
could make the whole silent place
start into life whenever he willed —
whenever he willed? He had not
quite liked the look of that crowd.
He stooped to feel a piece of belting,
when suddenly out of the shadow of
one of the great looms there stepped
The Judge started back. " Noble 1 ''
" He sent me," said Noble, stand-
ing stiff and straight.
1 8 2 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh
"Yes, yes, I know," said the
Judge. " I promised him; but the
time — I didn't think to-day."
" To-day is about the right time,"
said Noble, his ear tense for sounds
out in the silent street.
The Farwell pride rose here.
" I suppose you understand," said
the Judge, "that this — our con-
ference — ^is entirely Mr. Everitt's
" As far as I'm concerned, it's en-
tirely Mr. Everitt's doing," answered
John Noble, with equal haughtiness.
They stood staring into each other's
faces — which was to begin? A look
of sudden scrutiny came into the
Judge's gaze, it seemed to him there
was a change in Noble. Not for six
months had he seen him thus face to
"You like him, don't you?" the
Judge questioned suddenly.
" Why? "
In the strange isolation of the
Two Men and the Min ister 183
silent factory their words seemed to
be coming from them without their
" He whipped me once," answered
"He whipped me, too," said the
" He's that kind," said Jack Noble
obscurely, but the Judge seemed to
" Yes, he's that kind," said Judge
Farwell, " and since he is, I suppose
weVe got to talk this thing through
now and here."
Jack thrust forward one of the
high stools that lined the wall; the
Judge sat down, while Jack himself
stood, his back to the beam of a loom.
They talked with a new illuminating
frankness which seemed to them, as
both thought on it afterwards, al-
most the work of wizardry, ahnost as
if they had been under some secret
hypnotic influence that forced them
to speak, not as factory owner and
factory foreman, not as Farwell and
1 84 Pol ly Pat^s Pa rish
Noble, but only as man and man.
And they were coming to an agree-
ment, an understanding, one that
would, of course, have to be formally
drawn up and ratified, but an agree-
ment, nevertheless. It seemed as if
each man felt the blessed ease of the
relaxation of mental muscles, knot-
ted to the strain of the past months.
Both men drew the deep breath of
relief when suddenly the Judge re-
" But Charles," he exclaimed. " I
had forgotten. We must have his
consent. I have not the author-
"Yes, Charles," said Noble, his
face in an instant black; "Charles,
we all forgot to reckon with him."
" I must see him before giving the
final decision," said the Judge; "yet
still I trust "
I don't," blurted Noble, rudely.
I will go to him at once," said
John Noble followed him slowly
Two Men and the Minister 1 85
down the stairs arid out of the door.
He had made his face expressioriless,
for he knew what the eyes searching
his were asking. The crowd drew
back now to let the Judge step freely
to his carriage. The evil looks had
not hurt the Judge before, but now
that his purpose toward his workmen
was changed, he was sensitive to their
The men pressing toward Noble
to question him let the Judge's trap
roll quickly out of sight. There was
a whisper of tense question voiced by
"WeU, Jack, what did you do?"
"Nothing — ^yet — ^but " he saw
the mischief plotting in their faces —
" if we wait a bit, I'm hoping "
A laugh short and sharp as the
bark of a dog was the answer.
" Boys," cried Noble, seeing them
turn, "remember the minister!"
That word held them, they hesitated,
then someone cried: "Boys, re-
member the Farwells ! "
IT was characteristic of tte Far-
wells that the offices of the
firm were a good mile from the
factories on Elm Avenue, the
old business street of Forrestdale, re-
mote from the smoke and steam and
roar of machinery. To the offices
the Judge now drove to find Charles.
Seated at his own desk, his back to
the door, busily writing, Charles gave
no recognition of his father's pres-
' ence except the little backward wave
of his left hand somehow indicative
of closer conaradeship than any more
" Guess I'll have to interrupt you
a little while, Charlie," ventured the
Judge, who at this minute would
rather have interviewed the mob in
Factory End than his son.
Two Fathers 187
"One minute," answered Charles,
then after a moment wheeled about,
stretching his arms. "Nearly time
for home," he said,
"Not quite yet," answered his
father, " Truth is, Charlie, some-
thing has happened, I've had a little
talk with Noble."
The good humour of Charles's face
gave place to sharp suspicion. He
drew back his feet, comfortably
stretched out, and sat straight and
tense, regarding his father with nar-
"We've about come to an agree-
ment," proceeded the Judge.
Charles's thin lips curled back
from his teeth unpleasantly, he
looked as if he were about to utter a
malediction, but all his closed teeth
let out was "Everittl"
" Guess you're right," assented the
Charles sprang up and went and
stood looking out of the window, his
1 88 Pol ly Pat^s Pa rish
back to his father, his hands clasped
behind him, giving no sign of the
fury withm him except by occasional
spasmodic twitching of his fingers-
The Judge watched and waited.
When Charles turned about his face
was grey as the clouds beyond the
window, but his eyes were bright with
an evil fire.
YouVe given in? " he asked.
Not altogether. Noble explained
some of his points — he's not so un-
reasonable after all — ^he made some
suggestions, too, of improvements;
he's pig-headed but honest — ^we came
to a pretty good understanding —
and then those poor devils down
But here the Judge's broken sen-
tences trailed off into silence. It is
hard to face a look like that in the
face of one's son. One is so likely
to remember him as a little chap and
to choke in one's excuses. Before
Charles's white rage the Judge
Two Father s 189
"Father, I believe you're be-
witched," said Charles, " How much
have you promised Noble? "
" I told him I could promise noth-
ing without your consent."
Relief cleared Charles Farwell's
" I consent to no concessions," he
But some of the Farwell spirit was
stiffening the Judge's purpose.
" It's true I promised nothing, but
IVe led Noble to expect "
"That rd agree?" sneered
Charles had possessed that sneer
ever since he was a child. Then the
Judge had never been able to resist
thrashing him for it, to his lasting re-
gret. Now the father sought to con-
trol his voice.
" You will at least consent to listen
to some of Noble's propositions."
" No, I know them all. Allow me
to suggest that I also know who it
was that induced him to make them
1 90 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish
and you to listen to them. Am I
right in my guess?"
" And if you are, where's the harm
done?" asked the Judge.
" Oh, none, certainly. Allow me to
state merely that it's about time for
you to choose between me and —
The Judge's face was flushed. He
had never fought harder for calm
" Charles, do you appreciate the po-
sition in which you place me by your
— obstinacy? IVe let Noble and "
"Everitt," Charles supplied the
"Expect certain things of me,"
concluded the Judge.
"Very sorry," said Charles, po-
"You insist on placing me in a
false position? "
"You placed yourself in a false
position, father," Charles's voice was
The Judge knew his son, knew of
Two Fathers 191
old how futilely the storm of his tem-
per would beat upon such obstinacy.
He faced Charles for a moment, his
eyes a flame of anger beneath his
bushy brows, then his fists knotted
and he stormed through the door that
led to his own office, letting it slam
behind him. Charles heard the sharp
ring of his father's steps as he paced
the floor. At length he flung in
again. "One thing I ask,'* he de-
manded abruptly, "if you insist on
tying my hands, there'll be trouble
down yonder. I want you to take
Amy and the children and get out of
town and leave me to settle the mess
you insist on making."
Charles looked up with a suspicion
in his eye wholly unexpected to his
father, who exploded: "Heavens,
man, I don't mean that! Haven't I
given my word I'll not yield an arti-
cle without your consent? You can
trust me, can't you? All I mean is,
there's going to be a fight and I want
you to clear out."
192 Polly Pat's Parish
" I won't," said Charles.
But sharp anxiety made the Judge
patient. " Come," he said, " don't
say no to that, too. Promise at least
that you'll take till to-morrow to
think about going. Promise that
" For what reason? "
"It might be reason enough,"
answered the Judge with a ciu*ious
quietness, for he felt suddenly very
tired, "it might be reason enough
that your father asks it, Charlie,"
and he turned quickly and went out
and downstau-s to his carriage.
" Take the turn around by Farley
Creek," said the Judge to the coach-
man. He thought the air on the hills
might do his head good before they
should circle around into Forrestdale
again, and so out through the town
home to Red Chimneys.
Down in Factory End, meanwhile,
it was very still, for a whisper had
spread, "Wait a bit, keep quiet till
Two Fathers i93
Jack's out of the way," and so John
Noble had fancied the crowd dis-
persed without any mischief's having
Polly Pat was not the only one
who found Alison refreshing in dis-
tress. Charles Farwell thought he
would drop in on his cousin before
pressing on up the hill to Red Chim-
neys. He was not quite ready to
face his father at dinner. Charles
hated any unpleasantness at home. ..^
He was both surprised and dis-
pleased to find another guest before
him, a tall girl in white, with eyes
disconcertingly clear and direct.
Polly Pat had been bidden to dine
with Miss Alison, and by the latter's
request had let down her two braids
for the occasion. She tossed them
back with an impatient shake of her
head as she rose, seeking to say a
polite good evening to Charles Far-
well. Charles Farwell was accus-
tomed to concealing his emotions.
194 Polly Pat's Parish
Polly Pat was accustomed to declar-
ing hers, but it would have been plain
to any third observer that both Miss
Alison's guests were heartUy sorry
to see each other. Miss Alison, how-
ever, had the gift of making conver-
sation on such occasions, and both
Charles and Polly Pat felt a grow-
ing sense of ease and comfort while
Miss Alison talked on. They had
chattered thus perhaps half an
hoiu* when Polly Pat started, listen-
ing intently, " What was that? " she
" What, dear? I didn't hear any-
" Listen I " whispered Polly Pat.
It was always quiet on the hillside ;
what was that distant, muffled sound
growing louder, nearer, a low roar,
inarticulate, yet somehow himian?
Polly Pat jmnped up, all colour sud-
denly wiped from her ruddy face.
"I know what it is!" she said;
"they're coming! I wonder where
Cap is? "
Two Fathers 195
All three rushed to the broad front
window, and, sweeping aside the cur-
tains, looked out. The cloudy April
evening at seven still allowed them
to see aU things clearly and the ele-
vation of the house prevented any
obstruction of view from the hedge
that separated Miss Alison's grounds
and the roadway.
The inarticulate roar now resolved
itself into the shouts and cries of a
mob, and through all they heard the
sound of wheels and the cracking of
the whip as the Judge's two-seated
trap came into sight at the turn of
the road. The little black driver sat
huddled down in front; grim and
motionless, the Judge sat alone in the
back seat. All about him, at each
side and behind, surged sinister black
forms, arms brandished in threat,
fists shaken almost in the Judge's
face, while he never stirred; and
those cries, hoarse with hate — ^PoUy
Pat aU her life long never forgot
196 Pol ly Pat's Par ish
She watched, her white face quiv-
ering, her whole frame tense, hardly
seeming to breathe as the carriage
and the mob drew nearer. Then
as they looked, one man swerved
aside, caught up a great stone, made
a lunge toward the carriage. But all
at once, mysteriously cleft through,
the crowd swayed, parted. Right
through them someone had pressed
his way, someone with face white as
Polly Pat's had leaped into the mov-
ing carriage, was seated in a flash at
the Judge's side, so close that what-
ever harm came to the Judge must
come to him, too — ^their minister, the
friend of Factory End!
"I knew Cap would come,"
breathed Polly Pat as she swayed a
little and her head sank on Miss Ali-
son's shoulder ; but she was too strong
a girl to faint, and through clouded,
dizzy eyes she still saw the crowd at
the gateway, saw the mob hesitate,
sway, and at last turn and slink
Two Fathers 197
slowly back down the hillside, while
the carriage drove on in safety. She
had thought only of her own father
until, slowly coming to full conscious-
ness, she was aware of Charles Far-
well's face. Why did it not reflect
the utter relief of her own soul? Did
he not realise it was all over now?
" They're safe," she said, reassur-
ing him just as she might have done
one of her little brothers, " it's all
right now. Never mind, it's aU over."
But Charles Farwell spoke neither
to Polly Pat nor his cousin, but only
to himself, as he answered thickly,
"I did iti"
Polly Pat did not understand him ;
Miss Alison half guessed his mean-
ing, but neither would have pressed
any word upon him at that moment;
they were both too sorry for him.
" Come," said Polly Pat to him at
length, once more her active self,
" we must go and see how they are —
1 98 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish
He followed her hurrying steps,
the breeze whipping her muslin skirts
about her ankles as she flew down the
path and out of the Hedgrows en-
trance, up the hill and around, until
they stood by the high stone por-
tals of the gates of Red Chimneys.
The house was yet some distance
off, standing as it did on a wooded
Through the still leafless tree
branches the piazza and lighted win-
dows were visible. The great front
door opened for a moment, showing
a ruddy stream of light, and at the
same instant the April breeze bore
to them through the quiet evemng
the sound of the Judge's resonant
voice, sharply cut off as the door
closed again. The sound was reas-
suriQg, bringing both the anxious
ones at the gate back to a sense of
everyday realities. The eff*ect on
Charles Farwell was a sudden cur-
ious embarrassment; his father was
all right, was the same father from
Two Fathers 199
whom he had parted in anger some
two hours earlier. He did not feel
quite like grasping his hand and look-
ing him in the eye, so that shame
made his steps hesitant.
Polly Pat was flying on. She
turned quickly. " Why, . what's^the
matter? " she asked.
" Gro on. I'll come by and by,"
answered Charles, in a voice that for
some reason made PoUy Pat turn
back to him, standing there beneath
the hanging lamp of the stone gate
portal. Something was wrong, she
felt it instantly.
"What is the matter?" she re-
peated, her wide-eyed child face aU
intensest sympathy. He did not
answer. Polly Pat's eyes were intent
upon his face, searching it to know
how to help him. She ventured ex-
perimentally at last.
"He is all right now, you know.
I understand about fathers."
"Oh, it isn't that," said Charles
Farwell, almost irritably.
200 Polly Pat's Parish
" WeU, what in the world is it? "
queried Polly Pat.
"I— I '' you couldn't help
talking to Polly Pat as sincerely as
you would talk to a child. "I
wouldn't do what he wanted/* con-
Polly Pat uttered a long drawn
"Oh" of comprehension. "I see,"
she said: "hut then," she added,
"you know you always have to do
what the fathers want — ^that is, pro-
vided it isn't wrong ; but then it never
Still the other one was silent.
" Can't you do it still, what he
wants?" suggested Polly Pat.
"Possibly," he admitted gruflBly,
adding: "You'd better go on up to
" I've just got to see Cap," ad-
mitted Polly Pat; "but you'll
"By arid by," he answered and
Polly Pat on the instant was running
Two Fathers 201
up the circling gravel walks to the
house. The Judge himself admitted
her and showed her into the library.
The women of the household he had
peremptorily ordered out of the way
when he and Mr. Everitt had en-
Leaning against the mantel of the
library fireplace stood the Captain,
very pale. The black butler was just
serving him with a cup of cofl[^ee, but
the minister put down the cup on the
mantelpiece when he saw that white
clad figure in the doorway.
Captain I " breathed Polly Pat.
Daughter I" said the rector.
Then the Judge turned away,
blinking hard. Letting go at last,
Polly Pat pushed Captain down into
an armchair, then brought the coffee
"Now drink before you speak,"
she commanded. When he had fin-
ished she knelt with elbows on the
arm of the Morris chair, looking with
202 Polly Pat's Parish
intent, puzzled eyes into his face as
he let his head fall back upon the
" Cap," she asked, " now that it's
all over, why is it that you aren't
The minister's lips were com-
pressed into a thin line. There was
a sharp little frown between his eyes,
but he smiled as if in apology for
his exhaustion, as he said, including
both the Judge and Polly Pat:
" I didn't quite know how much
I'd hoped imtil I saw their faces,
heard them cry out — ^that way "
he shut his eyes an instant, the little
frown of pain deepening, " and they
are my people, and they hate like
"Don't you hope any more.
Cap?" whispered Polly Pat.
" No, not now," he answered.
But at this Polly Pat's entire man-
ner changed. "Then it's just be-
cause you're tired," she responded
Two Fathers 203
briskly. " We'll just put off hoping
until to-morrow morning, when you'U
feel better. Just lie back and rest
now, and pretty soon we'll go home."
She began to pat his hand with little
rhythmic rat-tat-tats, rat-tat-tats.
It would not have soothed every-
body's nerves, that energetic patting,
but it appeared to do the minister
It occurred to the Judge it was
about time for him to steal away. He
went out and began pacing the long
piazza. The tap of his boot heels
was audible far in the evening quiet,
audible as far as where someone
waited in the great gateway. The
sight of Polly Pat and her father
had set the Judge thinking. He, too,
understood about fathers, being one
himself, with just one child. Where
was the boy now? Safe, of course,
since the trouble was over for the
time. But why didn't he come home?
The worst of their rare quarrels was
204 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish
that it always took Charles so long to
make up. Down by the gate Charles's
quick ear caught the sound of foot-
steps coming up the hillside — ^nearer,
nearer, and presently a great biu*ly
form was beside him under the arch.
Charles felt his every muscle stiffen
for a spring — ^if anyone, should dare
to attempt more harm to that man up
yonder on the porch! Jack Noble
saw the tenseness of the attitude, the
suspicion flaming in Charles's eyes,
" No harm intended this time," he
growled, "and this row just over
wasn't none of my doing, either. Is
he aU right?"
"Don't you see him up there on
the piazza?" responded Charles.
John Noble looked up toward the
house and saw a tall form silhouetted
against a bright window space.
"I meant the minister," said
"He's inside. I suppose he's all
right," answered Charles.
Two Fathers 205
"Don't you know?" demanded
" Would my f aither be walking the
iporch as calmly as that if there was
anything wrong with the minister? ''
"Not much, I guess," answered
Noble, setting ojff up to the house.
" Noble I " Charles's voice rang out
"Here!" commanded Charles.
Noble turned around, not taking
a step toward Charles. " I can hear
you where I am," he said shortly.
"You tell my father," said
Charles Farwell, "that you arid he
can fix it up as you please. You may
count me out of it entirely."
Noble made no motion of proceed-
ing on his way, at which Charles
added : " That's all you need tell him.
He'll understand, if you don't."
" Oh, I understand all right," an-
swered Noble, continuing his way up
the zigzagging hill path, lit now by
2o6 Polly Pat's Parish
twinkling electric lights. He drew
aside into the shadow of some shrub-
bery as he saw the door open and two
figures come down the path toward
him. He did not come out of his re-
treat as he recognised them, and be-
neath the nearest light saw Mr.
Everitt's face, white and spent as
Noble had never seen him. Polly
Pat had her arm in her father's. As
they passed, John Noble caught her
words : " Don't mind it so much, old
Cap. Perhaps everything will be all
" Hope it will be — for him," mut-
tered Noble to himself. " He's tried
hard enough — wonder why? "
The Judge's nerves were of iron,
but they acknowledged their recent
strain in the start with which the
Judge perceived the great form loom
up on the piazza steps.
"It's Noble," said the newcomer;
then, standing stiff and straight, he
added : " Judge Farwell, this after-
noon was none of my doing."
Two Fathers 207
" I know it," responded the Judge.
" IVe the minister's word for that as
well as your own."
"You're all right?" questioned
"Yes, thanks to him," the Judge
"'Bout time all Forrestdale was
saying ' thanks to him ' for one thing
"You're right," acquiesced the
Judge heartily. "But what's both-
ering me to-night — I wish there was
something more to do than just say-
ing my thanks."
"There ain't, though. You
couldn't do nothing for a man like
him. 'Tain't ifem^« he wants. lean
understand how you'd feel, though,"
John Noble added.
" I've had a little idea about some-
thing we might do for him," the
Judge broke off a twig of leafless
vine as he spoke, " and it isn't things
either. Besides it has something to
do with yourself. Noble."
EASTER INT FOBfiESTDALE
DOWN the street in the
bright mid-afternoon sun-
shine there marched a
short but curious proces-
sion, three umbrellas in a line, each
draped about with shawls sweeping
the pavement and concealing all
means by which the three tents moved
on. The procession was arrested by
a sudden voice.
"Whose children are these?*'
" The children of Israel, sir," piped
a shrill voice in answer, adding:
This is the wilderness.'
" Why, I thought it was Forrest-
dale," exclaimed the first voice in
Through the fringe of the shawl
at the tent opening, one bright eye
appeared; there was a shriek of joy,
" The Bislio[> meets ' the ChiUIren of Israel ' *'
I I f
"■^ .*. r»
Easter in Forrestdale 209
then over went all the tents into the
gutter, as Annette and the twins
swarmed upon the bishop. He was
on his way from the station to the
rectory, having forgotten to take a
cab, although always admonished to
do so by his housekeeper. It was
well she should remember the bishop
was eighty, if he could not remember
it himself, she was wont to say.
The bishop had plotted to sur-
prise the Everitts with a week-end
visit. At Easter time the loneliness
of his great house was wont to be-
come more than usually oppressive.
The night before the bishop had
found himself sitting into the small
hours gazing at the fading fire, until
in the stillness he seemed to hear light
steps going up and down the stair
and the lilt of a girlish song sung by
a voice many years silent — ^until at
length the bishop had risen. "I'm
getting old, and that will never do,"
he had said to himself. " I must go
2 1 o Po lly Pat's Pa rish
a- visiting. How about Everitt?
There's trouble up his way."
Thus to-day here he was in For-
restdale, with three small Everitts
giving him greeting. The Everitts
had no grandfather of their own,
but the bishop served very well in
" And how is the father and Paul
and Herself?" inquired the bishop.
"Herself" had always been his
name for the little fly-away, red-
haired girl he had known from her
"Paul's all right," said Blitzen,
but Cap's tired, Polly Pat says,
and we were to keep quiet.'
Did you know about the strike?
asked Dunder, round-eyed and im-
" Yes," said the bishop.
" They had a fight last night —
pretty nearly," continued Dunder,
" only Polly Pat said we mustn't talk
" uut ^ap s tirea, jrouy
<tT\*J 1 «T J. J.l-_ _J •! O 99
Easter in Forrestdale 211
The three now picked up their
tents and prepared to escort the
bishop home. They carried the um-
brellas over their shoulders with the
dependent canopies floating out in
the rear. They burst in abruptly
upon Captain and Polly Pat in the
study, the Captain seated in his desk-
chair, Polly Pat on his desk.
"We've brought the bishop," an-
nounced Annette, tugging forward
the dear old figure in the familiar old
cape overcoat. The rector jumped
up, his face aglow ; Polly Pat rushed
" How is it with thee, lad? " asked
the bishop, grasping Mr. Everitt's
hand; then turning to Polly Pat he
took both her hands in his, his gentle
old eyes scanning all her face. " And
this is Herself? " he asked. " Little
Herself grown to this? Oh, these
little girls of ours," he shook his head
and smiled, thinking of his own little
girl, "they slip into women while
212 Polly Pafs Parish
we're not looking — when they have
fathers to take care of."
" I'm so glad you've come," said
Polly Pat, "there isn't anybody I
could have wanted to come so much.
Captain's pretty tired — ^with every-
thing that's happened. I guess I'll
take the Foxir-in-hand up to the gar-
ret so that you two can be quiet down
The most comforting thing about
the bishop was that he let people
pour forth all their trouble to him
without any check or protest, know-
ing the blessedness of utter unre-
serve, and knowing, too, that people
wearied and worried are always bet-
ter and braver than their words. Mr.
Everitt's impetuous speech spent it-
self, while the bishop, who out of
many years of lonely service had won
the treasure of infinite hope, sat
quietly there in the great armchair,
thinking to himself once of another
Good Friday afternoon with its ay
of despair at men's hate.
Easter in Forrestdale 213
The rector ended at last, summing
all up as he said: "IVe tried with
all my heart and IVe failed."
" How do you know? "
" I saw them," answered the other ;
"they hate each other — ^my own
" There is one thing," said the
bishop musingly, "one thing years
have taught me — ho service is ever
wasted — and so I wonder why it is
that service, mere service, isn't
enough for us; why we demand also
to see our success." But the gentle
peace of the old face spoke more
to the rector than the bishop's
" I suppose I have let myself get
a bit down," he admitted. "I
couldn't have talked like this to any-
" Then I'm glad I came," said the
"But," went on Mr. Everitt, his
face clouding again, " I must admit
that what I'm at present afraid of is
2 1 4 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh
that they'll take from me my power
to help them, that they'U aSk me to
resign. This vestry meeting to-mor-
row morning, at which I'm requested
not to be present — I can't see what
it means, except my resignation."
" I would wait, I think, if I were
you," suggested the hishop, a quaint
little smile touching his lips.
"And meanwhile cheer up?" said
the rector, straightening up with
sudden, unexpected briskness.
" That would do no harm, would
it?" said the bishop, a little twinkle
in his eyes.
The next day after the Lenten
morning service, the bishop and the
rector walked back across the church
lawn surrounded by a troop of
young Everitts. There was a drirale
of fine rain and a sharp chill in the
air. It was not a cheering morning,
and besides the rector had left his
vestry in possession of the lecture
room, not knowing the purpose of
Easter in Forrestdale 215
the meeting or the reason for his own
exclusion. Even the bishop had ob-
served a curious air of secrecy in the
bearing of the assembled vestrymen,
a subdued excitement not altogether
As they all trooped in by the study
door the bishop announced : " I be-
lieve I have something upstairs in my
" Shall we go up and get it? " sug-
gested the twins.
" I believe you'd better," returned
the bishop, and instantly they were
off, returning with the vahse, a
shabby affau- once bright and black
and shiny. The bishop investigated
and drew forth a small brown packet
which he presented to Annette to
open. She disclosed a number of
little envelopes bearing a bright
blotch of color at one end with
printed matter below. All five
Everitts examined eagerly.
"I wonder," said the bishop,
j a 9^ T^n ^^i_ !«__ »
21 6 Pol ly Pat's Pari sh
dropping his voice mysteriously, " if
she — ^the lady in the kitchen — ^would
let us have some eggs and a few old
Yes, she will," cried Annette,
cause ril ask her/' She skipped
"You'll join, won't you?" asked
the bishop of the rector. "And is
Herself grown too old for Easter
eggs?" then added to the rector:
" Mine " — ^there was so much in that
httle word! — "mine never grew too
old for Easter eggs."
It is no light matter to have one's
kitchen invaded by seven in the mid-
dle of a Saturday morning, but it
was the bishop who had suggested it,
and Annette who had asked it. 'Ziah
cleared her Saturday baking into a
corner, her face at first grim enough
as the seven took possession. She in-
sisted only in enveloping the Four-
in-hand in towels and her own aprons
— odd enough they looked as they
Easter in Forrestdale 217
capered about. Such marvels as they
all produced, such crimsons and blues
and bronzes ! And these brilliant hues
were not by any means entirely con-
fined to the eggs.
The white-haired bishop at eighty
was such an irresistible boyl His
eagerness infected the rector, made
Polly Pat a small girl again. It
was good to hear the rector's laugh
ring out like that — 'Ziah could not
stay aloof in her corner. She washed
the dough from her hands, disap-
peared upstairs and returned with
various bits of bright calico. She
showed them all how to tie up the
eggs in these bright scraps of cotton
and showed what brilliant results
could be obtained by boiling. All
were crowded about her steaming
kettle with eager, watching faces
when there came a ring at the door-
bell. The rector answered it. His
face was a grown-up face once more
when he returned to the kitchen say-
2 1 8 Pol ly Pat's Pa rish
ing that the vestry requested the
bishop to meet them for a short con-
ference in the lecture room.
If the rector expected any en-
lightenment as to this mysterious
summons on the bishop's return, he
did not receive it. If the vestry re-
quested their bishop to keep a secret
he could do it.
Easter Day had a sullen, rainy
dawn, but just before service time
the sun came lustily bursting through
and a brisk wind swept the radiant
April sky all clear of cloud. The
raindrops twinkled on bare brown
twigs where the buds of spring were
just swelling to life, and the chimes
of Calvary church pealed forth their
jocund Easter summons. It seemed
as if aU Forrestdale were pouring in
at the church doors into the fragrant
interior, all abloom with lilies.
Polly Pat, Annette and Paul were
seated in the rectory pew, for the
twins were in the dioir. Polly Pat
Easter in Forrestdale 219
heard her little brothers' voices float
pure and high over all the rest, as
they led the white procession of choir
boys up the central aisle to the chan-
cel. The final alleluia pealed forth
in a great volume of sound, sinking
to silence before Blitzen's clear so-
prano soared upward in the first an-
them, " Christ our Passover is sacri-
ficed for us, therefore let us keep the
feast. Not with the old leaven,
neither with the leaven of malice and
wickedness, but with the unleavened
bread of sincerity and truth."
" Neither with the leaven of malice
and wickedness," the words kept re-
peating themselves over and over in
PoUy Pat's brain. " Everything is
so glad to-day," she thought, "that
I just feel as if something glad must
be going to happen to Cap," and
then, at last, as the choir boys sank
into their seats, she saw her father's
face — ^pale still, but with all worry,
all strain mysteriously wiped from
220 Pol ly Pat's Par ish
it, leaving only a marvellous joy. In
his voice all through the service there
was a thrill of this same solemn joy
that caught at the heartstrings of his
" The something glad has hap-
pened," thought Polly Pat, not
knowing yet the secret of the little
note that had been put into the rec-
tor's hand on entering church, nor
did she know until her father came
forward to the chancel steps to read
the announcements. It was clear that
he could not quite trust himself to
speak, in so few bare words did he
state the two facts:
" To some my first announcement
may seem out of place at a religious
service, but to my mind, my breth-
ren, nothing of vital importance to a
community should be regarded as
alien or apart from the life of their
ehm-ch. I therefore announce that the
strike at the FarWell factories is de-
clared over, and that the mills will
Easter in Forrestdale 221
resume work to-morrow. I am fur-
ther requested by the vestry of this
parish to amiounce to you that at a
special meeting, held yesterday, Mr.
John Noble was elected to the vacant
office of junior warden of this
As the amen of the hymn died
away, the bishop mounted the pulpit
steps to preach the Easter sermon.
The bishop's words were always
those of a prophet, and yet the
strange thing was that you always
forgot them because you remembered
only the bishop himself — ^the crown
of white hair, the stooping shoulders,
the thin old hands that trembled a
little, the shining peace of his face
and the heart of hope within him.
To many it seemed that his last
words held the secret of the bishop's
very self — ^the broken body and the
sorrow-crowded life, and over all
the living soul, forever victoriously
youthful — as he said: "My breth-
222 Polly Pat's Parish
ren, in this world we sometimes tbink
so sick and sad and sorry a place, it
is hate alone that killeth; it is love
that forever giveth life."
As the offertory anthem rang
through the chinch, two men side by
side took up the offering. Bearing
the laden plates they went up the
long aisle toward their minister,
waiting. Squarely bmit they were
both, tall and strong and heavy, step-
ping firmly side by side, shoulder to
shoulder, as if they had been friends
— Judge Farwell and John Noble.
The light in their rector's eyes as he
looked down toward them was all
that they had planned and hoped for.
It seemed as if that whole congre-
gation was bent on shaking hands
with their minister and the bishop be-
fore they left the church. They
surged out upon them as the two
stood in the vestibule. On one side
of the rector stood John Noble, and
on the other Judge Farwell, and they.
Easter in Forres tdale 223
did not withdraw, but merely stood
back as all the others came crowding
Polly Pat, with face so bright that
her eyes were wet and shining and
her lips trembling, found that she
could not get near her father at this
moment. Timothy Noble had found
his way to her side, and Charles Far-
well, holding Flo by the hand, was
pressing toward her. It was in
Charles Farwell's mind to give in and
shake the rector's hand like the rest
of them, and let him know by a word
or two perhaps how he felt about
that night — ^that night the rector had
saved his father's life. But it was
easier, somehow, to stop and talk to
Polly Pat. To Miss Alison, quietly
watching, it seemed that Polly Pat
did not make the slightest difference
in manner as she turned from one to
the other, between Tim Noble and
Miss .Alison, as she glanced from
I ■ '
224 Polly Pat's Parish
Mr. Everitt to Polly Pat, was think-
ing of the change in the two facies
since the day when she had first seen
them, when father and daughter had
stood together in the rectory door-
way at her leaving. She remembered
Polly Pat's parting words : " We do
so want to do our best for Forrest-
dale." She remembered also : " Six-
teen is grown-up, don't you truly
think so?" Sixteen had not been
grown-up then; was sixteen grown-
Then Polly Pat saw Miss Alison
and came to her, laying one hand on
Miss Alison's arm, and with the other
making a little gesture toward the
group about the rector and the
bishop. " Friends! " said Polly Pat.
" Cap has done it, hasn't he? "
Just for a moment Miss Alison's
eyes were dimmedja^e looked into
HMn^iace, and an-